James 1:2-3 “Count it all joy, my brothers, WHEN you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” It’s a comfort to me to know we will all have hard times and hurts that try our faith. It’s also a comfort to know that God does not tempt. 1:13, “For God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one.” I think that being one of many and not alone is key to keeping the faith. Can you imagine being the absolute only one to feel tempted? How horrible and lonely would that be?! I mean, sometimes I feel that way anyway and it’s really hard.
But when I have trials and when I am hurt, it is so good to know that there is a father who knows and cares and isn’t far off. That through my faith I am being made holy and stronger and maybe even able to help someone else at some point. It’s like the song that’s out right now “from the mountain I will bow my head head to the one who put me there, from the valley I will raise my head to the the one who knows I’m there. You’re God of the hills and valleys...”.
But equally important, lest I become hateful toward God (angry is fine, I don’t think ambivalent or hateful is), it’s good to know that it’s not God who temps me to walk away - that’s my own selfish desire and Satan. Vs 14” But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”
No matter what I am going through or how I feel, my job is to hear and continue to do the word - because my faith is not based on my feelings but in my knowledge of Christ alone and his sacrifice for me. I can’t just read the word and call it good but I am called to act vs 22”but be doers if the word and not hears only deceiving yourselves.” God tells us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger….. - doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” Vs 19,20,25b
So today I will check MY heart, and MY desires to make sure they are in line with Christ. I will realign myself to HIS plan and not my own. I will ask forgiveness where it is needed. Then I will look for ways to BE Christ to others. Isn’t that my job ultimately?
From the breastplate of St Patrick:
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my right