Surfing Through James

Day 5 of 5 • This day’s reading


The default position

“No matter what is going down in my life, if I just go surfing it seems to make it better.”

It’s common to hear of people who make surfing their default – the thing that makes every situation in life better.

Surfing is my happy place – but it’s also the place I go to when I am sad, or mad, or even bad! Now don’t get me wrong, there is a heap of other places you could go to that will not serve you as well. But surfing as your default is never as sound as going to Jesus. Whether you and I are sad, glad, or even bad, James encourages us to take it all to God in chapter 5 of his letter.    

  1. Go to God when you are sad. When you suffer hardship or trouble, as we saw back in chapter 1, take it to God in prayer. He is the best one to help make sense of your suffering and to give you strength through it. Likewise, if you’re sad through sickness, take it to God in His community. Draw on the collective faith of trusted elders; these are leading examples you can trust. Beware the danger of what suffering may do to your soul if you go elsewhere for comfort.      

  2. Go to God when you are glad. There’s something to celebrate when things are going well! To sing praises to God is healthy and adds another dimension to your happiness. How sad is it if we view God as “Emergency Use Only” and never turn up to thank Him when things are good?    

  3. Go to God when you are bad. It’s tempting to hide our sins when we feel the shame of doing the wrong thing. But beware, keeping such things in the dark can even make you sick! The power of sin is broken when we bring it into the light. It’s very healthy to seek the consolation and comfort of a trustworthy person you can be truly honest with and then together in prayer break that power! Don’t waste your life in bondage or sickness based on holding out or hiding out.

Next time you want to run to the surf as the cure-all for all your circumstances, challenge yourself about whether this is bypassing going to God. Maybe it would be better to meet up with a trusted brother or sister and have a solid chat and then pray to make God your default position. God’s ways are the anchor for your soul!

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