And I must say, I'm tired of being worn out (which reminds me, I've got to finish The Worn-Out Woman!). So, last week, I made a commitment to the Lord. I asked Him what book of the Bible He wanted me to study, and He pointed me to James. Since I've been working on being obedient, I complied.
Now, when I first flipped through James and realized Chapter 3 is about the tongue, I felt certain I knew why He led me there. (OUCH!) But, even though I need to engrave that chapter on my heart, I'm going to resist the urge to skip ahead and start at Chapter 1.
I'm going to be blogging what I write in my journal during this study. It won't be in any structured form...but I will try to let you know the questions I'm asking myself & what I feel the Holy Spirit is revealing to me.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. -- James 1:2-4
Questions to Ponder:
Do I consider testing of my faith to be joy, or an inconvenience?
Though God's Word says we can expect trials, am I worried or even offended when they come?
I learn perseverance through trials. If I learn to persevere, I'll be equipped to finish the race. Being a believer isn't easy in this world, and I won't make it to the finish line without some practical life skills (i.e. patience, strength, kindness, discernment). Because He loves me, My Father doesn't want me to lack anything. If I'm lacking patience, He's going to give me opportunities to learn to be patience. If I'm struggling with disobedience, He's going to call me to stricter obedience.
As a parent, I have a mental list of things I want to teach CJ. How to love, be kind, be respectful, put her laundry away, obey without questions. She's going to get better at those things with practice. I have to create opportunities for her to practice. In the same way, God does that for me. I can't expect CJ to learn if I'm not willing to do the same.
When I face a trial, I need to ask God "What am I lacking? What do you want to develop in me?" THEN, I need to ask for a willing heart so that He can do His work, and I can become more complete in Him.
Dear Lord, please give me a heart willing to seek You in whatever trials I face. Help me to see, Father, that You are the giver of every good gift, and that You have only my best interests at heart. Lord, because You love me, I can trust that You are working for my good, and I can rest in You. It's easy to know these things in my heart right now, when I'm not in the midst of any difficulties. But I know troubles, either great or small, will eventually come. I pray that I will remember what You've taught me today, and seek to discover what You want me to learn so that I can be made complete in You.