I wanted to start in the book of James. I believe James is the quintessential “code of conduct” for all Christians.
First off we have to realize that being a Christian is not a “get out of trouble-free card”. We will be in situations that are not favorable. If you think other wise you can just look at what Jesus went through, do you think you are better than him? James then says you are not only to not be sad about the trials but you should be Joyful for you will be stronger and closer to God when you get through them. This is also why he mentions you go through them completely. Don’t take the easy way out or run away. You can’t learn anything from running other than how to run more. When you get through those trials he says you receive the “crown of life”. The last thing he says about going through trials is that you shouldn’t blame God. God did not put you in this situation. Your sinful nature and the devils desire to keep you from the Lord are the reasons you are in a bad spot. God only does what is best for you, however, he does use what mess you have gotten into, for his glory. whether its teaching you a lesson, or showing you his mercy, if you look to him in this time of need you will be closer to him in the end.
James talks about possessions and riches here as well. Don’t mistake trials for loss of possessions. You should not like something so much that you think you can’t live without it. This is idolatry. You are not able to fulfill Gods will when you have fear of loosing anything other than him. So if you are rich, you have a lot more to lose, therefore its much harder to get to God. Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich men to go into heaven. The eye of a needle is not what we think of it today. There was a place that had a hole in it just big enough for the camel to get through if it got on its knees and crawled. Since camels were pack animals, this meant they had to take everything off of the camel. The camel couldn’t go through if it had any possessions. This is why he said this. You have to realize that getting you through the hole is more important than getting your stuff through. This doesn’t mean you have to give everything away, but get to the mindset that if it was all gone, you would be just as rich cause you have the one thing that matters. Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Your Challenge this week:
Take at least one “trail” you are faced with right now and give it totally to God. Every time you think about this problem, remember you have given it to God, and there is nothing you can do that he can’t. Then don’t give it another thought. This will start you on the path to trusting God.