Day 1: James 1:1-11
Today’s devotion comes from the the first few verses of James 1 (verses 1-11)
James is writing this letter to the Christians who are scattered across the nations. Scattered seems to be a key word at the moment. As we find ourselves physically unable to meet with more than 6 people, and not being able to meet collectively as a church, we the scattered can still worship together, hear what God is saying and believe that he has only the best for us, wherever we find ourselves physically.
James then leads on to talk about faith and endurance.
Verses 2-4 say
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
It almost seems alien to us to see difficulties as an opportunity to experience joy. Because, sadly sometimes we like the feel of the victim to have our own pity party. But James declares that in the trials, hard times and difficulties that’s when your faith is being tested, and when it’s tested and you choose joy over sadness, hope over fear, that’s when you are made stronger in all you do.
Endurance makes ways for you to lack nothing as you take hold of real faith.
But James doesn’t stop there. Verses 5-8 declare that if we need help we can ask God for help, and he will come and answer us as long as we are sure that we really expect him to answer, for as James says a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea.
Make up your mind that we serve a real God, that real faith is developed in real times of hardship and ultimately a real life comes form a place of real faith.
Let the following words be in your mind and heart and on your lips as you face life today.
“I believe and do not doubt!”
Ps Richard McGuinness