an old friend

I got with an old friend this week. One of my friends since my college days. James chapter one verses two through eight. This hasn’t only been my favorite but many so much for these verses.

When I was in college I was attracted to the first part of this text. The Phillips version says it this way, “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!” I must have said that verse to myself dozens of time my freshman year. It was a powerful truth that difficulty could be a good thing, even a friend. Other versions phrase it, “Consider it pure joy..” It just seems so counter intuitive when we are in the throws of a painful situation. Yet that is exactly what God says we are to think about the hard things that come to all our lives.

So my freshman year the Lord was impressing on my to view my trials as a good thing. They were good because of the explanation that follows that initial verse. Difficulties change us for the good. Character and perseverance are developed. I kept thinking and considering these truths that year.

But what I love about God’s Word is that it’s richness and depth impact in so many ways. You can read it many times and get something different each time. The Bible proves to us over and over that it is, “living and active.” The Spirit can focus on the particular thing we need for today.

Monday when I read this passage I was struck by a different truth from the very same passage. Further down in the text the discussion becomes about securing wisdom. This is what we are encouraged to ask for when things are crazy. Here’s what hit me. When we ask for wisdom we must ask with “faith without secret doubts.” Our part is to trust God to give us the wisdom.

When we are getting beat up our response is to ask for wisdom from the Lord and then to trust, to rest in his power and his answer. This is where our trust is tested. Will we rest in his power and love for us? Will believe he will supply us what we need? May God increase our faith in our hour of need. He did for me Monday morning.

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