James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
"911, What is your emergency?"
First responders are vital to the outcome of a critical event. From the moment the call is dispatched, they respond quickly and work effectively to mitigate harm or tend those in need of medical attention. They remain calm and focused because the outcome is often life or death.
In today's reading, James teaches us how to respond to critical events that are vital to the outcome of our lives. In the face of trials and unexpected hardships, we are first responders. We are on the scene, and it's our call: will we consider it joy, or will we succumb to our immediate emotions?
Take a moment to think about your last trial. Was your response filled with frustration, anger, and disappointment? If so, you played right into the enemy's hands. He loves to lead you down the slippery slope of negativity, block spiritual growth, and keep you from fulfilling God's purpose. Conversely, God wants to work through those tough times to help you develop perseverance, maturity, and wholeness. But, again, YOU are the first responder!
When hardships come, respond swiftly by tapping into the peace and joy that come from knowing Christ personally. Be confident in the fact that He's on the scene and ready to lead you through each hardship and every trial.
"911, What's your emergency?"
The ball's in your court - how will you respond?
When was the last time you faced a trial with joy? Instead of looking at the next hardship with a negative perspective, ask yourself this question, "What does God want to teach me at this moment?" Take each trial in stride, knowing that God's preparing you for what He's prepared for you!
Dear God, Thank You for the joy that's only found from having a personal relationship with You. When trials arrive, help me to consider them pure joy. Guide my thoughts so that I may be mature and complete, lacking nothing, because You are my everything. Amen.