Saturday, April 2, 2016

Difficult promises

James 1:2-4

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Lord, help me more deeply believe that the struggles, pain, and losses of my life and the lives of my loved ones is actually going to produce a deep profound change in character and godliness.    Only if I can see this end result, could I have joy in the painful process. Like pregnancy, these times of struggle can only make sense in light of a baby.   Let me see the "baby" of greater character, competence, and compassion that is to come from all of these struggles.  Give me more faith Lord, for this is many times hard to accept or believe. 


James 5:7-12

7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

Lord, give me a waiting and patient heart as I look to see the good harvest that will come, either on your return or in revival.  Either way you will come.  Keep me from bitterness, judgement, self-righteousness, and complaining.  

Help me remember the prophets and Job.  No one had easy lives.  Unbelievably hard lives they had.  Yet, while having real and dynamic relationships with you, they all remained in a relationship with YOU since YOU alone have the answers to life. 

The hard times do not take away the reality that YOU, LORD, are compassionate and merciful.  We deserve hell fire.  So having hard lives or hard times is nothing compared to what we deserve.  YOU LORD, also know that some greater good will be lost, unless this suffering is permitted.  The cost of the greater good is high but necessary.   YOU, cry with us in our struggles. 

Keep me from foolish words and radical actions during painful, sad, and horrible moments in my life.  Let me now try to use vows, promises, and wild divine bargains to move you to take away the pain.  Let me see that I cannot bribe YOU.   Help me remain sane in my pain. 

Thank you, LORD, for your faithfulness during difficult times even when I am unfaithful, for you cannot deny yourself.   Help me walk before you in steadfast, steady, sane, and serious faith in your character, competence, and compassion.  

Lord, have mercy and increase such faith in me.  Amen

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