Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Word-in-My-Heart-Wednesday - James 1:2-4

It's the third Wednesday of the month and time for a new Bible verse to memorize. For those of you who did not catch the first of these posts, Word-in-My-Heart Wednesday works as follows: On the first and third Wednesdays of the month the scrolling verse at the top of the page will be changed. Visit this blog on a daily basis to memorize the current verse. When a new verse is posted, the old verse will be archived and available on the sidebar under Word-in-My-Heart Wednesday. Click on it and it will pop up in a scrolling text for your review. Review is the key to retaining what you have memorized. It takes only a few minutes daily to review the verses you have committed to memory.

The new verse I am posting is James 1:2-4. It is now at the top of this blog. Here, the apostle James was writing to the Hebrew believers who were under severe trials. They were undergoing persecution. Some had experienced the seizure of their property. James did not want them to waste their trial, so he tells them to count it all joy. He wanted these saints to see the divine purpose for God-ordained trials. God is perfecting us through trials. He is making us like His Son.
And trials will come. Jesus experienced far greater trials than you or I ever will. If God did not spare His sinless Son from suffering why should we expect to be exempt?

Trials will either draw us closer to God or drive us from Him. O, but the sweetness that the Spirit ministers to us of the Savior when we draw near to Him in the midst of our difficulties. He gives joy when we sense that He sympathizes with us. He understands. Counting it all joy has everything to do with running to Jesus who knows our struggles. He makes Himself precious to us at those times. He discloses Himself to us.

Hebrews 10:34-36 tells us how a group of Jewish believers handled the same kind of trial as the recipients of James' letter were experiencing. We're told that they accepted "joyfully the seizure of your [their] property, knowing that you [they] have for yourselves [themselves] a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised."

These believers used their trials for God's glory. No difficulty was wasted in pity partying for they knew God too well to feel sorry for themselves. They knew He was accomplishing much good on their behalf which would serve to bring Him glory. And they also knew that He was always working, in fact that there never was a split second in which He wasn't working for their good.

Let us not throw away our confidence in the midst of trials. Let us not waste what God will use for our good, both now and in eternity for His honor! Let us count it all joy when our hearts are heavy with burdens. That is the only way we can be lifted above the struggle to see the One who loves us perfectly and to allow Him to perfect us through that struggle.

Memorize James 1:2-4! And use it for God's glory.
 

1 Comment:

Bern said...

Hi Sharon,

Just had to say thank you for working on your blog. I just shared it with my sister, since it's been such a blessing to me!

Thanks again...

love,
Bernie

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