December 10 | James 1:2-18
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Two years ago, when I shared with my dear friend that I had been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, her response totally stunned me.
With a tear in her eye and a lump in her throat, she squeaked out, “It’s just not fair!”
This dear sister in Christ, who had given ear to many painful stories of my life, was voicing her heartfelt, compassionate sorrow and deep distress over my diagnosis. I think she was wondering “WHY is this happening to her? After all she has been through?”
I have frequently asked those exact questions during various trails in my life – "WHY??"
What about you?
These “why” questions are not bad in themselves.
James, prompted by the Holy Spirit, invites us to ask for wisdom for the things we don’t understand.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
But we do need to heed where the seeds of doubt are being sown.
Do our “why” questions lead us to BLAME God for what is happening? Beneath those questions, are there seeds of doubt, of distrust, feelings that God is holding out on us, that He has abandon us, forgotten us, or worse yet, is out to get us?
That is how sin began you know. When Satan sowed questions of distrust in Eve’s heart in the Garden of Eden, when he said, “Did God really say . . .?” And, “You will not sure die, but your eyes will be open and you will be LIKE GOD!”
Doubt and distrust in our God, and His goodness, is where sin always begins. When we begin to distrust Him, we look to other comforts, we seek other ways of protecting ourselves by our own strength, or ways of grasping for ourselves what we think God is unfairly withholding from us.
Romans 14:23(b) says, “and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
Our doubts, self-protection, and grasping for what we think we need, when it is devoid of trust in our Good, Good Father, only “gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
James reminds us, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
When the questions of “why” stir up in our hearts during times of trails and temptations, why not take them in prayer to our Heavenly Father and release them to His care?
Why not focus in on the manger and then on the cross?
God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who created the Universe loves you so much. God the Father gave His only Son as a ransom for you. Jesus chose to give up His throne to be born as a helpless, vulnerable infant. He suffered and died FOR YOU! The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and now lives in you!
Center your heart on these truths:
"He chose to give us birth through the word of truth!"
Lord, You have invited us to count it all JOY when we encounter trails and suffering. You know the weight and pain of suffering. We can trust you, even when we don’t fully understand.
Help me to hold tight and to cling to the assurance that whatever happens to me will “turn out for my deliverance.” Because You are my Good, Good Father, whose power and authority rules over all!
“Lord, I believe! Help me in my unbelief.”