Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

James 1:2-8 ~ 

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

We can often seem like we have it all together.  Our faith is strong.  We trust God.  Our Christian walk is purposeful.  Then, a trial hits.  And we then see exactly how strong our faith really is.  I love this passage in The Message Bible because it states our faith-life shows its true colors when the going gets tough.

I'm sure we can think of people who seem to crumble and fall apart when times get hard.  I'm sure we've been there ourselves at times or are there now.  Just as we persevere through these trials and become mature, there is also something we can ask from our Heavenly Father as we go through them.

We are to ask for wisdom from Him as we walk through the trial. This passage connects wisdom to the trial.  So often we think that second paragraph is disconnected and it is generally talking about asking for wisdom.  But praying for help and wisdom from our Heavenly Father is related to floundering and not knowing which way to turn as we face testing.

Perhaps you need help in making an important decision.  It may be asking for wisdom in how to handle a family decision or a financial crisis.  Maybe it's how to deal with a crisis at work or with a friend.  

Our Father loves it when we come to Him.  Again, I love the word picture of "worrying" our prayers.  This is something that many of do, yet is ineffective.  Mulling over the situation in your mind is not praying.  Worrying constantly about the problem is not effective.  God wants us to ask Him directly for help and then to place the situation in His hands.  Don't keep taking it back and turning it over and over again.

Be direct.  Be bold.  Be firm.  

When you ask, He will give you the wisdom and direction you need.  But once you get your answer, stay steady and firm.  Don't waver back and forth.

As we persevere through these things, we will find our faith growing and we will be mature and complete Christians.