Sunday, May 24, 2009

Trouble = Joy ????

James 1:2-8
...when troubles comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, but sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

James, the half brother of Jesus, is telling us here that instead of sitting around crying in our soup when we have troubles, we need to get out and jump for joy. Well, maybe not jump for joy, but we should consider it as a chance for spirtual growth. It's never easy accepting sickness or death, or hurt feelings or any of things we consider "trouble" in our lives, but when trouble comes, that is where we learn to lean on the strength and comfort of our savior. Many times during times of trouble, we just would not even be able to "make it through" if we didn't have his strong arm to lean upon.

I have learned through my struggles as a 52 year young woman diagnosed with parkinson's disease that because of my trouble I've had an opportunity to slow down and just sit in the presence of God. I've been afforded a chance to read his word, study, meditate, pray and worship him like I never would have done had I not had to sit down and be still. Each day my faith has grown because he's shown me how to resist the illness, and how to rebuke satan from using illness as a way to bring me down. Instead, I've learned how to put the full use of the power of God to use in my life in prayer and loosing God's will on earth as it is in heaven and binding the things on earth that are bound in heaven. It truly is a powerful formula that God has given us when we accept the gift of salvation from his son.

If you think you can't do this, you should ask God for help and then fully and completely trust him to show you how to do it. If you ask and then think oh, well, he's not really there or he won't help me, then for sure, you are setting yourself up for failure. But God has shown me that if I ask and then TRUST him, he becomes more and more "visible". In other words, the more I ask, the more he gives, and he works more and more often in ways that I can see. If I keep asking for more and more of him, he is faithful to give me more and more of his spirit.

I've been praying that God will fill me with more and more of him, that I will disappear and that only he will be seen by the world....c'mon, Lord, give me more of you, I want all of you that you trust me to have, and let me use it for your glory and benefit here on earth, and please give me your wisdom to know how and when to use it.

Take it from me, an ordinary nobody; every day I ask God to clean out my body closets, throw away all the junk, get rid of stuff I've saved that no longer has meaning, incinerate the garbage, and store some of the stuff I may need later so that when the day is done, I know in my heart that he is restoring a right spirit in me. He is making my heart pure. And then I can ask him to help me make it through the day in his power, and you know what? I am filled with so much joy that I just want to jump and dance and twirl and do a cartwheel!

Praise the Lord! He is good and wise and kind and loving and my father who only wants the very best for me.


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