James on trials part six

Many of us talk like the Bible is practical and speaks to us today, but act like it is archaic and has little to do with real life. We say we respect the Bible and live like we don’t. We go to church and nod our heads when the pastor says we shouldn’t be proud. But then we go out and live self-centered lives, never stopping to consider how the truths we learned on Sunday might apply specifically to the way we live our lives. Or we read the commands in Scripture to love others sacrificially, but when someone comes … Continue reading James on trials part six

On Trials part five

God does not always answer our prayers for wisdom. But it’s important to understand that if our prayers for wisdom go unanswered, the problem is not with God. The problem is with us. We are asking God for wisdom in the wrong way. “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” Many of us ask God for His … Continue reading On Trials part five

On Trials part four…

God will provide what we need to live the Christian life, if we ask. The problem is – most of us are not humble enough to admit we need wisdom. I remember when my daughter went through the “I want to do it” stage. We’d be putting on her shoes, I’d go to tie them, and almost every time she’d say, “I want to do it, Dad…” Now, she’s two years old. She has no idea how to tie her shoes. But she’ll wrestle with the laces, fumble around, sing a little song that my wife taught her about a … Continue reading On Trials part four…

On Trials part three…

My wife and I enjoy watching the Olympics together. I’m a dreamer, so when I watch the Olympic athletes I often imagine myself being able to do exactly what I see them doing. Then I go out and try, and find out real quickly it’s not nearly as easy as it looks. I remember the first time I went skiing. I was in high school and thought it would be so easy. About a thousand bumps and bruises later, I realized it wasn’t. What looked so straightforward and effortless while sitting on my couch watching T.V. was incredibly challenging and … Continue reading On Trials part three…

Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 3

If James stopped at, ‘consider it all joy’ someone might mistakenly think he’s talking about the power of positive thinking. Or to borrow a phrase from an old pop-song, that he’s merely telling believers, “Don’t worry, be happy.” “You’ve lost your home, you’ve lost your job, the rich are taking advantage of you? Here’s what you do. Pretend like those things aren’t happening. Think about how rich you are going to be someday. Live in a fantasy world, and you’ll be able to make it through.” Don’t laugh. That’s how an many people respond to trials. They try to think … Continue reading Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 3

Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 2

The question is how? The fact that James commands us to consider trials all joy means considering trials all joy is not our natural reaction. If we are going to experience joy in the middle of trials – we must do something! That is so important to understand. We can’t wait until we feel joy in the middle of trials, we have to step up to the plate and take action. We must stop listening to ourselves and start talking to ourselves. James says we have to consider trials a reason for joy. To consider means ‘to lead.’ When life … Continue reading Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 2

Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 1

Most of us wish life was always easy and we didn’t need to think about how to respond when it gets difficult. But life is not always easy, and so we do. No matter how hard we may try, we simply can’t avoid getting hurt. Life is difficult. Fortunately it is difficult for a reason. God has a good purpose for the trials He brings into our lives. He wants us to help us become mature Christian and uses trials to promote our spiritual growth. Unfortunately, trials are painful. If they weren’t painful, they wouldn’t be trials. Since trials are … Continue reading Making the Most of Difficult Situations Part 1