Our Suffering

Today we’ll continue with some of your favorites (or the passages you have questions about). Email (andy@stm-umc.org) or message me with any passages you’d like added or that you have a question about!

Today we are looking at James 1: 2-4

2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face various trials, consider it all joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.

Some of our next few readings are going to come from one of my favorite books in the Bible, James.  One of the reasons why I love James so much is that it is a book that is specifically written to Christians.  Some books of the Bible have an evangelistic thrust to them; they are trying to convince folks who aren’t Christian to become Christian. 

That’s not what James is doing.  James is writing to Christians and encouraging them to fully live out the Christian life.  Today James tells the believers to consider it joy when they face all kinds of trouble.  These troubles can test us, and this testing will make us stronger, and being stronger will grow us into Christian maturity.  

One of the refrains of the Bible is that our sufferings, if we allow them, can grow us closer to Jesus.  In fact, our suffering can be redemptive because when we suffer, we walk the same path of our Savior.  Jesus suffered. So we know that we will suffer.  Our suffering, if we allow cause us to cling even more closely to Jesus.  Our suffering, if we allow it, will cause us to depend even more upon Jesus.  

Our suffering, while never “fun,” can be a long-term blessing.  A life without suffering, a life without pain, a life that never has struggles can fool us into thinking that we are self-sufficient.  It can cause us to think that we are stronger than we are.  It can cause us to think that we don’t need God or need others.  

Our suffering, while it may bring us to our knees, will show us that right there, on our knees, is where we are most likely to find Jesus.  

Today, if you are suffering, Jesus is with you.  And if it brings you to Jesus, even if it may hurt, your suffering can be your greatest blessing.  

If you’d like to get each day’s daily scripture reading sent to your phone along with this reading guide, text @39110 to 81010 to sign up!

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