Sunday, February 2, 2014

40 Day Retreat with Jesus- Day 2

The 40 Day Retreat with Jesus is on day two, and today we are in James 1! Remember, I am using my Compass study Bible and The Voice translation.
Day 2: James 1: 1-12
James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, to the twelve tribes of Israel who are spread across the earth: I send you my warmest welcome! Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.  If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.  Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused. If you are a brother of humble means, celebrate the fact that God has raised you up.  If you are rich and seemingly invincible, savor the humble reality that you are a mere mortal who will vanish like a flower that withers in the field. The sun rises with a blazing heat that dries the earth and causes the flower to wither and fall to the ground and its beauty to fade and die. In the same way, the rich will fall and die in the midst of their busy lives. Happy is the person who can hold up under the trials of life. At the right time, he’ll know God’s sweet approval and will be crowned with life. As God has promised, the crown awaits all who love Him.
One thing the pastor at my church told me when I was first baptized was that a Christian life is not an easy path, it's not devoid of challenges and trials. I have personally found that in the trials I tend to lean on God more, grow more. Perhaps this is why we are to embrace challenge and trials?