Listen to this devotional:
James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (NKJV)
I have been going through a very difficult trial involving a dear family member. Just when I think I have turned everything over to God, something new happens in this situation, and, poof — I feel as if I haven't really given it all to God. It can be very frustrating, but it is through those rough times that our faith and our walk with God are strengthened. Also, the Holy Spirit reminded me that others who are non-Christians are watching my life to see how I will react. My prayer is that others may not see me but rather see Jesus in the way I respond to these situations, whether the situation is good or bad.
Our first response to a bad situation is to handle it in our flesh, mostly because we are human beings who are still on this earth. I must confess that I do not always handle things in a godly manner, but sometimes in a human manner. But when I do mess up, I praise the Lord that He is there to forgive me and remind me that He is still in control.
I'm so thankful that He is in control of things, because when I am in control, I certainly make a mess of things! I'm so glad to serve a God Who loves me in spite of the fact that I fail Him at times. He gently reminds me that He still loves me and cares about the things that concern me. After all, He created me in His image! Just now I am reminded of the children's song, "He's still working on me". How true those words are, because He will continue to work on me until I get to heaven, where all things will be made new and perfect!
Revelation 21:5 – Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new," and He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." (NKJV)
Our first response to a good situation should be to praise the Lord for His blessings, but is that our response? In my life, my first response is not always praise, but I am striving toward that goal. What a precious heavenly Father we have — One Who keeps loving us!
Prayer: Dear Abba, Father, we praise You for Your tender love and mercy. We praise You for Your faithfulness and Your Word. We thank You for the trials, and that when we fail, You are always there to pick us up and guide us. Help us to be true examples of Your love to others. Forgive us for our failures, and teach us to trust You more and more. May Your will be done in our lives, and may You receive all the honour and glory. Amen.