Father, help me “consider it pure joy whenever [I] face trials of many kinds”. Even though I know You tell me that these trials produce good things in my life: “perseverance”, making me “mature and complete, not lacking anything”; I do not always rejoice when difficulties come my way. And I do not feel like I am being made “complete”. I often feel just the opposite, as if I am being broken down.
Father, give me Your perspective on these events and circumstances when they happen. Let my first thoughts be of coming to You to ask for what I need. Often what I need is wisdom. So let me “ask You, who gives generously to all without finding fault”. Help me recognize Your wisdom when I hear it. And then be bold enough to act on what You tell me.
Lord, I want to persevere under trials because You say I will receive a blessing when I endure. Part of that blessing comes simply from my turning to You. By being in relationship with You, hearing from You, and seeing Your deliverance, whatever that looks like. Thank You Father, for the times You have been there for me in the past. It builds my faith in Your ability and in Your desire to help me in the future.
I can identify with the Psalmist, who says: “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” Like the Psalmist, I have felt “overcome by trouble and sorrow”. There have been times when I did not see a way that anything good could have come from my situation. But You, who are “gracious and righteous…and full of compassion” saved me, delivered me, showed me a way to redeem the situation. And usually it was in the most unique way, that no one else I had gone to had thought of.
How can I thank You? “How can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me?” I cannot ever repay the debt I owe You, Father. But I can sing my praises to You. I can tell others of Your great goodness. I can tell others of Your faithfulness to me. I can live joyfully in Your deliverance, and live faithfully as Your servant.
No matter what happens, I will rest in You. I will rejoice in You. I will live my life to bring glory to Your name. Amen
James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19