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Serene Sunday

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Don’t Miss Now…

Sometimes, sometimes those hard trials seem to press on us. There are days we wonder if God’s love and promises are true. We endure pain, or see a love one endure pain. We experience loss that envelopes us like a cloak. We get in difficult situations where there doesn’t seem to be an end or a solution.

But, Dear Friend…these things happen to us all in different ways and in different degrees. The early church experienced such assault and persecution…and they were asked to persist and to look ahead...

In times like these don’t give up – persist on. Plant your feet firm in your faith to know there will be a crown of reward – The Crown of Life.

Sometimes life is, really is hard. This goes on at times for days, months and perhaps years…

Fascinatingly, the book of James is known as the Proverbs of the New Testament. Historical thought and belief was that it was written by James, Jesus’ half brother. There’s strong indication for this authorship. Imagine, growing up with Jesus…and not believing He was who He said He was…Then you believed, truly believed and remembered – saw it all, heard it all – and the context became real to you.

James reflects much of what Christ spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount…He also alludes to what we know found in the Gospels. The underlying theme is faith and a life of work that reflects that faith. James encourages that this life we have here on earth demonstrate that our faith is real.

James 1:2-6 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and ti shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like the wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”

The trials we endure produce patience in us and we’re instructed to ask God for wisdom. We are also encouraged to stand fast in our faith. Hold on Dear Friend. You’re not alone and not forgotten. God knows and is producing in you something of value and of beauty.

James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

Rather than looking at your trial as God’s punishment or that perhaps God doesn’t love you…a believer can look at it as a means for God to bless us. Endurance over these trials brings immeasurable blessing. We can also grow in these situations – mature in Christ.

Romans 5:3 – 8, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when were were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

There is more to life than the troubles in our lives – our lives have meaning and purpose…we are here to live for Christ – we are here to point others to him. Enduring the trials of life that produce patience, experience, and hope reveal to the world the love of God in us. So don’t miss now! Don’t miss this opportunity to dig your feet deep in your faith to see beyond the trials and temptations.

James 5:7 -11, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient: stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh…Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

Life is so daily. The constancy of life is that the sun will rise and will set…but, more dependable and more constant is the love God has bestowed toward us. We have an incredible hope…Just don’t miss now. Don’t miss this opportunity in your hardship and difficulty to grow, to mature, to develop patience and hope. This daily life is not it…there is a hope of one day being in the presence of God – whole, free and with those whom we love who also trusted God.

I Corinthians9:25, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in al things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body and bring it unto subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”. 

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”.

While going through these difficult times – focus and concentrate on your faith. Read more, pray more and spend more time with fellow believers. Seek God’s presence – He is there. And see. See what this life in totality is all about…it’s about our eternity and the eternity of those around us. Don’t miss this moment to be blessed by God and most importantly – bless others. Stand fast my Dear Friend.

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