Today's passage: James 1
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
I'm barely into this book and I am already convicted. In fact, I'm feeling like I have been in a boxing match after reading just this first chapter. The verses above were the upper cut. Then in verse 20 he talks about wrath not producing righteousness in our lives. I feel a punch to my gut, because I need to work on my anger. In the last few verses, he knocks me out with the verse that my religion is empty if I am not careful with what I say. I am down for the count. I'm going to prop myself up for a few minutes to talk about verses 2 and 3 above.
I have heard these verses probably for as long as I've been a Christian. I sometimes think, I can handle any "big" thing God throws at me. I am glad He hasn't thrown any "big" things at me. My health is fine. So is my family's as far as I'm aware. We still have a house, despite the rough economy. Thankfully, my husband hasn't lost his job (I'm thinking unless he does something really outrageous, we will always need policemen). I really have no complaints. Then why do I so often find myself complaining? Maybe the reason God hasn't thrown any "big" things at me, is because I can't seem to handle the small things around me. I become overwhelmed far too easily with the kids, with the housework, with the bills, with other responsibilities. Why would God put something bigger in my life to be a terrible testimony? On the other hand, do I keep my attitude, because I don't want God to give me something "bigger"? I'm afraid of trials, I admit it. I venture most people are. I don't really want to be like Job. I love that verse that talks about Job being upright and eschewing evil. Sure. That's great. Then come the trials. Okay, maybe not liking it so much. If that's what it takes to be the person God is looking for, I'm not sure I want to be that guy. Do I complain, to help God look elsewhere? If I really want to be used for God (and I am terrified right now, as I am writing this) I need to be willing to go through the trials for Him. I need to be willing to count even the little things as joyful. Because whether I like it or not, He is trying to prepare me for some "big" things. He wants me to get a handle on the small things, so He can work patience in my life. (Just a sidenote, I find it interesting that patience is referred to as she, because I find that women tend to have more patience than men. Sorry guys!) I don't know what is in my future. I know that I need to be prepared for anything, little or big, that God puts in my life. I know I have so much to work on. I know that I will probably need some people reminding me of this post if God decides I'm ready. So readers, I count on you to bring this passage back to mind, if the "big" thing comes.
I think I will remove myself from the boxing arena now. I have some wounds to bandage.