James Challenge

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

JOY IN ALL THINGS:

The maturity of a believer is evident in their response to tough situations. James reinforces this in verse 2 by telling believers to consider it joy in whatever they are going through. To ‘consider it joy’ is not to pretend that you are having fun in the middle of a difficult time. Rather, it is to base your joy on the promise of what God intends to do with the trial – which is always to intentionally work it out for your good.

It is very easy to compare yourself with others when you are going through a difficult time. We all have trials that God allows us to go through, yet, it is tempting to believe that our trials are much worse or really not that bad in comparison to others. James wants us to grasp that God can be God to all of us in the middle of whatever we are going through. He does not allow us to go through anything that He cannot redeem, heal and use to bring us to a fullness in Him that is beyond our imagination. We don’t need to compare because in each trial, big or small, we all need to grow through what we go through.

CONVICTION ON ANOTHER LEVEL:

Our words carry power – power to destroy or to build. What proceeds from your mouth that is detrimental to another person? It is very easy to make sweeping statements, or write carelessly on social media without thinking about the impact it has on the hearer or the reader. Moreover, we forget who we are representing – the Most High God. We must bridle our tongues (verse 26) and in our generation's case...our 'twitter fingers'!

Lastly, James talks about Christianity in a practical way. Christianity is not just about you saying a 2 minute prayer, attending church, and reading the word, it is also about being a help to those that are less fortunate. Being the light in in a dark world. Ultimately, it is about displaying love, like Jesus did. Jesus didn’t chill with the pious ones (Pharisees), instead he spent time with those deemed as outcasts in society! Yes, it is good to surround yourself with like minded people, but let that not take you to a place of pride whereby you think you’re too holy to help those in genuine need. 

Prayer: 'Lord, where we have prayed and sung about injustice, but ignored the injustice around us, forgive us'.