Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (1:2...NIV)She explained how perseverance isn't about gritting our teeth to get through something. It is opening our arms to accept what God has already given us. We choose to listen to His truths about our situation instead of lies. As I continued to read chapter one, it says
That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does. (1:7...NIV)I don't know about you, but I 'feel' pretty double minded on any given day about things going on in my life. I have faith...but if I have doubt then that makes me 'feel' double minded. Yet at the same time the Word says, "Lord help me overcome my unbelief." (Mark 9:24...NIV). What's a confused thinking girl to do?? When you take this verse in light of the message at our church today, however, you have to just remember that it isn't the 'trial' that is the issue and a measure of doubt does not make you 'double minded' if your thoughts are being pointed back to Jesus...even if you have to do that on a minute-by-minute basis. It is about simply turning to God to accept. It does take an act on our part but the burden is easy, the yoke is lite.
I turned to the amplified version of the Bible today to read James 1 again.
Every good gift and every perfect (d]">[d]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. 1:17...amplified
This expanded version talks about shadows and an eclipse. The sun moves and casts various shadows throughout the day. But God never moves. So when we see shadows, can't seem to understand God, if things are seeming fuzzy, or if there is an all out eclipse, we are the ones that are moving. Life comes, and the enemy puts thoughts into our head but we can choose to be in alignment with God so there is no shadow. Sometimes that process DOES take some doing but that is the 'work' part. The work is not the autism/hearing impairment/illness/marriage/circumstance. The work is the changing of our thought patterns and turning ourselves to God's love.
I think this is very much like RDI. Although not a Christian program, the premise is NOT to teach your child skills and GIVE them to them. Rather they turn to you, their guide, on their own accord, and accept what is already theirs. Primarily we give them our love and our relationship with them and from that they learn. But just like God is a gentleman and will not grab your face and turn it to His, we can't make our child (physically or mentally) turn to us. It doesn't work in the long run. But by being a trusted guide we teach our child how to 'learn' and live from us. When they choose to turn to us the effort is reduced...the burden is lite
(The pastor that spoke was Pastor Tracy at Life Christian Church. I have been blessed by every message I have attended there and encourage folks to go if they are in the area.)