Tag Archives: James

Your love makes it worth it

5 May

Earlier this week, I found myself just having a really bad day.

You know, one of those days that starts off really great and good things happen, but then all of a sudden something happens that knocks the wind right out of you. One minute you feel strong and tall, and the next minute you’re on the floor, feeling hopeless.

I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a tough day of the magnitude I just described, but I do want to share with you how I got through it. It made a world of difference to my perspective and my pain, and I hope it encourages someone out there.

Since I began memorizing the book of James a couple of weeks ago, I have begun to use it to fight negative thoughts. If you’re anything like me (LOL, actually, if you’re human), you’ve experienced some difficult things in your lifetime. Your life hasn’t been perfect. You’ve been hurt and you’ve even felt heartache. In times when I feel down because of things that have happened to me, I force myself to start quoting James, even if all I’ve got memorized is a few verses. And let me tell you, it has begun to transform me and bring me through some super tough days. It’s sort of like having encouraging scripture verses on index cards, but much more effective because you are literally preaching to yourself. And, in addition, you can encourage yourself anywhere, anytime (even while driving), without needing to locate your 3×5 cards!

So, on this “bad day,” I had already memorized exactly 12 verses of Chapter 1. I began to quote them aloud, and when I got to the very last verse, verse 12, my tears began to fall even more quickly. But they had gone from being bad tears to being good ones. You’ll see why.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Here’s how I see it: No matter what I face in this lifetime, I must remember that my earthly life is temporary. While it is sometimes filled with pain and heartache, I must remember that if I keep my faith in God and believe that he died to save me from eternal damnation, I’ll get to heaven one day. And when I’m there, as Revelation 21:4 says, there will be no more tears. No more pain.

That’s a future worth dealing with the temporary pain, don’t you think? There’s a worship song by Kim Walker (“I Surrender”) that says, “Your love makes it worth it, your love makes it worth it all.”

Amen to that.

On days when you feel that you can’t go on anymore, remember that HIS love and the “crown of life” make all of our earthly pains worth pressing through. He’ll give you the strength to do it if you ask him and if you surrender. I promise.

Jen

The Word is good and perfect

30 Apr

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. James 1:16-18 (ESV)

Also, note how The Message words verse 18:

He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

He brought you to life. He brought me to life…with the Word. It is a good and perfect gift. Are you receiving it with the same fervency you would receive a brand new car or iPad as gifts?

Jen

James 1:1-11 (from memory)

29 Apr

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion: Greetings.

Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. That person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; He is double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich boast in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass, he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

I know 11 verses isn’t much, but I just had to share what I already have accomplished in hopes that it will encourage someone today. I just love this portion of James!

Jen

That “pesky verse” in James

7 Apr

You know that verse in James that tells us to rejoice when we’re going through a tough time?

You know what I’m talking about. A guest speaker (actually, the former pastor of my church and our current lead pastor’s father) mentioned this verse last Sunday and referred to it as “that pesky verse in James.” Hearing it reminded me of how I have been wanting to blog about it. Check it out:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kids. James 1:2

If you’re reading that verse for the very first time, you’re probably thinking, “Huh? Seriously?”

Yes, seriously.

The NIV words it like so: “Consider it PURE JOY whenever you face trials of many kinds.” The reason we’re told do so comes in the next two verses (ESV):

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4

The greatest good that can come of our lives, according to Romans 8:28-29, is to be conformed to the image of Christ. That’s what Paul meant when he wrote, “For those who love God, all things work together for good.”

So…when you face a trial, God allows it because he’s perfecting your faith. He’s also molding you into the image of his Son, if you let him. Those are pure joys.

Today, let go of your hurt and give it to God. Do it every day if you have to! I encourage you not to dwell on your trial, but to look to God and allow him to heal you. Ask him for strength. Consider this time in your life a pure joy. You might not see it now, but when you’re on the other side of this, you’ll be grateful that God allowed whatever you’re facing to happen.

Jen