Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 11

James 1:2-4

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

01032015 RayAnother day and another difficulty – seems like that sometimes – right?  Have you ever felt that way in your life’s journey?  Have you ever felt if things could go wrong they would?  Or have you ever felt if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all?  Trials and difficulties just seem to come with the reality that we are human and things will be tough in certain seasons of life.  Can I get an Amen?

I have written on my blog page in the past that the last few years have been rough for me and my family – with the sickness and death of my father in late 2012 – with the loss of an adoptive granddaughter that was in our arms until the birth mom changed her mind – with the near death accident I had with a tractor-trailer that same year – and with other personal and professional happenings.  Part of the prayer/fast for me in 2013 was to dig deeper into my relationship with Jesus – and that is my purpose again in 2015.  I hope that is the point of your prayer/fast as well.

When I fasted and prayed at the start of 2013 – God showed me so much – even in the face of the difficulties of 2012.  The years that followed have brought much joy and some pain – but God is still God through it all.  Our granddaughters have been such a blessing to me and to our family.  Being able to serve FUMC has been a major blessing that began in 2013.  I am a blessed man – even when I haven’t deserved the blessing – even when I have faced some tough time.

21-day-fastToday’s passage speaks to facing hard times.  You can read the whole of James 1 here.  The verses I’ve used for today – are tough to stomach at times – especially when we are on this side of troubled times or in the midst of those tough times.  It makes more sense when we are on the other side of difficult times – hindsight is always easier to take!

Let’s read today’s portion of James 1 again.  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Are we facing any trials or were we facing any trials when we started the prayer/fast?  You already know that I had faced several in recent years.  As we seek His face and desire His grace – my prayer is that we will grow in perseverance and allow God’s work to be finished in us – season upon season – and lack nothing as we serve our Lord.

It is hard to consider it joy to face a trial – but – our God is Sovereign and will see us through it all!  God has seen me through rough times in the past and I have faith God will see me/us through whatever we are facing today.  Let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus – that is the answer – just ask Peter!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 15, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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