My Personal Journey - I Am Staying In School
A Devotional from James 1:2–4
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2–4
Phillips Brooks, a famous preacher from the past, defined preaching as the “communication of truth through personality.” I think that is a wonderful definition, not just of preaching but teaching as well. The intention of this blog has always been to look at Scripture from the very unique perspective of the Bald Believer and frankly, taking the time to write in the mornings has been such a special blessing to me. Today, I feel compelled to stray from my normal writing in which I use my daily readings as my source. This morning I want to share a little from my recent journey as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.
Yes, I am a preacher. I am a pastor and I hope to be a real Christian man but I have discovered recently that I am seriously lacking in some areas of faith. I never thought I was all that and a bag of communion wafers but I now realize that I am not nearly as mature spiritually as I once believed.
James tells us to find joy in our difficulties by understanding that our loving Heavenly Father is trying to accomplish a work in us.
James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Presently, I am facing a trial that revealed how truly impatient I am with my God. I want out of my situation as quickly as possible. My Father has been trying to teach me, but instead of humbly learning his lessons, I have tried my dead level best to skip school. I have even had a few fine folks offer words of real wisdom that I have completely ignored. I think that I have been looking for shortcuts in this course of study where there are none to be found.
Today, I especially have one verse from today’s reference repeating in my mind.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Some people work hard to do “good enough”. I know, I used to be one of those guys. When I was in high school, I actually took the time to calculate the minimum effort I would have to put forth and still have “good enough” grades to qualify to play basketball. What a dummy huh?
There is a problem, when it comes to the training of his children, God is not a good enough God.
His desire for us is that we be well rounded and mature (perfect and entire) and not lacking in any spiritual graces.
“Good enough” is not good enough for our God.
It is apparent to me now that God will not exempt me from this course and if I fail it, I will just repeat it until I pass. The Divine Teacher will not allow me to just get by with mere attendance in this class. As much as I had hoped, I will not be able to find someone great to help me get out of this training, there will be no cheating off of another person’s paper for me.
Please don’t think that I say this because I have surrendered to God’s will, I know I should but also know that I haven’t completely. Inside I know that I want out of this place of loneliness so badly that I will keep looking for an escape. I need your prayers that I will be faithful and focused in order to pass this test without having my time here extended.
What about you? Is there another person going to the school of loneliness, learning to lean on God? Is there a suffering saint that needs encouragement to stay faithful in the school of hard knocks? Does some hurting soul need to hear the words of Scripture, “let patience have her perfect work...”? I hope my testimony encourages you and if you will share your story, I will pray for you to pass your test too.