I just got myself handed to me thanks to the book of James.... I only made it 3 verses in and slam! in-my-face HELLO!!!
So I thought I would share with you, not that I think you need to get slammed but because I just need to share. So are you ready my friend???? (all that is my fair warning to you for what is about to be shared)
I am going to type this all out (mostly for me, because I need to nail this in my head right now), I am not gong to copy and paste. And I may emphasize things how I read them, or have been rereading them.... I know you are loving my rambling and explanations here :)
JAMES 1:2-4 (NIV)
"Consider it pure JOY, my brothers (or sisters), whenever you face TRIALS of MANY KINDS, because you KNOW that the TESTING of your FAITH DEVELOPS PERSEVERANCE. Perseverance MUST FINISH its work so that you may be MATURE and COMPLETE not lacking anything."
*** side note... I just glanced at verse 5 here and before I type that out I need to share that the past few days, the daily verse on my phone that I have been praying over and thinking on have been about WISDOM - something I am seeking in MANY areas. so that in mind check out verse 5
"If any of you lacks WISDOM, he should ASK GOD, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Okay so lets start at the top here. JOY. That word literally jumped off the page of my Bible and hit me square between my eyes. Hello, where has my joy gone. Why am I okay living without it, why have I not fought to keep it. Oh yeah that's right I have been so caught up in myself and my worries and my getting things right and pleasing everyone else - there is absolutely NO JOY in any of that. Ugh. But wait read on and James continues that as we face TRIALS of MANY kinds. Let me think... ya I was facing TRIALS and MANY kinds at one time - at least I felt like that was what it was. I had let those trials strip me of my joy instead of considering it to be pure joy KNOWING, yep KNOWING that all those trials are testing my FAITH, stretching my FAITH. Knowing, ya I know but it was like during those couple of months everything I should have KNOWN was all cloudy. I couldn't see straight and in doing so my eyes focused on me and my trials. So then I guess that brings me to asking myself do I or did I really KNOW - because knowing is not just understanding truth but allowing that truth to affect how one lives. I so was not doing that. I was tired and honestly lazy. I was done and didn't want to get up. After I took a hit on the spiritual battlefield I choose to stay knocked down. There were those who tried to help me up but I stayed and then complained that I kept getting kicked while I was knocked down - uh duh! If I am that badly hurt then I needed to really let those around me carry me to a safe place to be healed, not just sit there giving up because I kept getting hit, and complaining and wanting others to feel sorry for me, or here my favorite - using that as my excuse for EVERYTHING.
Perseverance MUST FINISH its work. I had/have the choice to get back up and keep going through fighting the good fight. Maybe I need to head back to the armor room and make sure I have the armor of God in the right place and secure before I think I can charge into this battle. Beacuse I am guessing that I look a fool right now because I have the pieces on the wrong way using them the wrong way as I have been chillin on the battlefiend. But whatever it is I choose not to give up anymore. I choose to face my trials of insecurity and my trials of rejections and my trials of not being like others, but choose to be who God created me to be and allow Him to work in my weak areas.
My verse today on my phone is Proverbs 9:10 "Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement."
I don't need to fear the enemy on this battlefield and what he could do to me, because when I do I loose sight of the victory I have in Christ. That, right there is what I need to fear- loosing sight of my victory because of my Savior. Choosing to be caught up in the tangles that Christ came and set me free of. And when those are what I fear, wisdom will follow with knowledge of God and the result will be good judgement - unlike the poor judgement I have been having for the past few months.
So if you have been struggling finding PURE JOY in the midst of your TRIALS, learn from my stupidity here and lets together get up and walk to the side where our loving Father wants to heal our wounds and equip us to charge back out there to WIN together!