James 1:2-8 (TPT) My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable [restless or disengaged].
Very fitting words for the season we have all been going through. Our latest podcast episode tackles this subject, with the help of Joe Ragon. Check it out on our website, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
HOW we think about the difficulties we are going through determines whether it drags us down or escorts us into God's presence and His Peace and Joy!! Choose wisely.
My brother, Joe Ragon, shared these words after the podcast, and I wanted to include them here: "Something that kept coming to my mind while thinking about Paul and Silas,
I believe that if we could have looked into Paul's eyes that day when he'd been beaten and imprisoned we would have seen peace and joy rather than misery or anguish.
Singing, especially spiritual songs, has always been associated with joy and happiness. I read (listened to) the whole book of James this morning - which is way good throughout, and timely - and noticed this verse with respect to what I was just saying: James 5:13 'Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.'
I can't prove this but I think that Paul was in complete peace and joy. In other words, our super difficult situations are only difficult because of how we react to them. When we're completely surrendered, we can have real joy and peace. And the situation, which seems hopeless on the surface, is no longer horrible…. In fact, we can count it as JOY!"
If you're going through a tough time, please know that we are praying for you, and hope the words of this blog and podcast episode on counting it all joy has brought encouragement to you today.
Steve Ragon &