Friday, October 17, 2008

James 1:1-4 Part 1

I decided I need to be memorizing Scripture, but which ones? There are so many to choose from that I usually feel overwhelmed and memorize nothing. (Isn't that just what Satan wants?) I finally settled on James...the entire book. I made this decision in March, 2006 and I've only learned James 1:1-18. But I figure that's 18 verses I didn't know. I'll just keep working on them as I take my morning walk. Not only am I memorizing, I'm pondering and jotting down my thoughts on those verses then sharing what I've learned and discovred with my Sunday school class. I thought I might share some of them here and hope you will be challenged and encouraged. Perhaps you'll even pray for me to be dilligent and listening for His voice in this undertaking.

~ Drewe Llyn

Pure Joy
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3

Pure joy? Pure joy?!?!?! Let’s be honest, how many of us really consider trials a “pure joy”? When the washing machine goes out with six loads of dirty laundry still on the floor, when a co-worker spreads hurtful gossip around the office, when there are more bills than money to pay them, when that self-breast exam reveals a highly suspicious lump, when the police confirm your daughter has been arrested for dealing drugs, when a spouse dies after a long and painful illness, it is difficult to maintain a positive attitude, much less one of joy. How we can consider such difficulties “joy” is a difficult concept, one I must confess I’ve not mastered. Perhaps it simply needs to be accepted in obedience and with the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows much more than we do.

A Personal Story

Several years ago our family faced a minor trial, one that wasn’t earth-shaking nor life-shattering, but it served as a reminder to give thanks in all circumstances. (1)

Our son, a ninth grader at the time, rode to school every morning with a friend who often ran late. This caused them to arrive just past the bell several mornings, a fact that didn’t bother the friend's first teacher of the day, but after the third time our son received early morning in-school suspension. Needless to say his father and I were not happy; one of us would have to drive him the ten miles to school an hour early on the day of the suspension. It was an aggravating inconvenience, one we grumbled about for days before hand.

After dropping our son off early that day, I went on to do some errands. Around 9:00 a.m. I received a phone call from my husband saying the friend had been in a car wreck that morning. My first thought? “Thank you, God, our son wasn’t in the car.” Later I asked about the friend who was a little shaken, but fine. But how would our son have been had he been in the car? Thankfully we don’t know. How funny I could be joyful about the tardy AFTER I saw how it worked out. Yet God really wanted me, wants us, to be thankful, even joyful, about our trials, trusting that He knows best, and that truly, somehow, though we can’t see it, He has our best interest in mind.


“God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken and, when you cannot trace His hand, you can always trust His heart.” ~Charles Spurgeon, British Baptist Preacher (1834-1892)

Think about it:

Have you ever experienced a trial which you were thankful for after it was over?

Do we really trust God to have our best interest in mind?

Read Romans 8:28. Does everything work for good for everyone? (2)

What exactly did Spurgeon mean in his above quote?

Take a look at Hebrews 12:2. What joy could Christ have possibly seen in and beyond the horror of the Cross? (3)

(1) 1 Thessalonians 5:18
(2) This promise is for those who love God.
(3) I believe Jesus saw us, spending eternity with Him, as the joy set before Him.
(c) 2006 Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat

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