James has a couple of good words for me today.
Here’s the first:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)
I love the notion to consider it JOY when trials come, because if I hang in during difficulties, I’ll eventually lack nothing.
Let me get this straight: my lacking (of whatever would make life easier) leads to not lacking?
Ye olde commentary (ESV) says that as trials test my faith, I’ll become much holier, perfect, like Christ. And as I grow closer to Jesus, I’ll have all I need in HIM, so it seems like I lack nothing!
… be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19b-20 ESV)
Larry Crabb paraphrases this verse: “Lead with your ears. Follow up with your tongue.” Great advice. Here’s how I paraphrase Larry Crabb: “Just SHUT UP!”
I need SO much to remember to keep my mouth shut and listen more, longer, better. After all, God DID give us two ears and one mouth (I’ve heard that so many times, but it’s STILL good to remember!).
Oh, Lord, Help me to always consider it joy, no matter what, and help me to stop and listen before turning on the mouth and/or the anger. Amen.
Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 31:1-32:32, Psalm 130:1-4, Proverbs 28:28, James 1:1-27. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).