Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 8-26-21

James 1:2-8 Faith and Wisdom

2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. 4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

5 And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace [offering an open hand to you]. 6 Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. 7–8 When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable [disconnected]. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition?

Life is always serving up growth challenges for our souls—mind, will, emotions. It would be easy to conclude these challenges are only the works of Satan who attacks Christ’s followers. Yet, Jesus told his disciple Peter, “My dear friend, listen to what I’m about to tell you. Satan has obtained permission to come and sift you all (disciples) like wheat and test your faith” (Luke 22:31). Therefore, what if the Father actually allows Satan to throw these challenges at us in order to get a greater measure of power (the Anointed Son) to us? It is our shield of faith that quenches the fiery darts, right? When we use our faith in God’s promises while we face life’s challenges and invite the Lord of Heaven’s Armies to fight them with us, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37). “If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us?” (Romans 8:31). We must stop trying to fight the battles with faith turned toward ourselves.

In our passage today, James reminds us it is our “faith” that is being tested through these challenges. The wisdom of God is always going to be necessary to lead us through the challenges; the Lord must be the cloud of smoke that hinders the enemy while being the pillar of fire that burns the righteous path before us. Only then can we know the way to go and experience the victory of our faith. If you are going through great challenges to your faith right now, press into the Lord and ask for the wisdom of Christ to be imparted to your soul. Ask for the Lord to hinder the enemy, reveal the righteous direction he has laid out before you, and use your faith and trust in his goodness to follow. “Every child of God overcomes the world, for our [persistent] faith [trust in the Son] is the victorious power that triumphs over the world” (1 John 5:4). Go overcome the world today with your faith in Christ!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being my wisdom each day. Thank you for being my Way in the dark wilderness of this world. Thank you for standing between me and the enemy of my soul. I choose to stand with you, because you are always victorious. You love me along the way. No weapon the enemy turns against me shall prosper, because this is my blessing in life and inheritance from you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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