06 Sep “For All” – Day Eight
Scripture: James 1:2-4 NLT – “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Observation: Sometimes as believers we think that because God is for us that we won’t have any troubles, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. James comes out right away and says that WHEN not IF trouble comes your way, consider it as an opportunity for great joy. Here on earth you WILL have many trials and sorrows. “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Application: As believers we WILL have trials to overcome, almost like a test in school. We have to pass that test to get to the next grade and God’s tests are very similar. The test is refining you, as tough and difficult as that may be, it is for a greater good in your life and the lives of others! Just like in school, we grow and learn from that test to use that knowledge to progress. How amazing will it be when one day we are perfect and complete, needing nothing?! You know you’re growing in your faith… when you can consider it joy when troubles come! Jesus even states, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.” (John 16:33)
For those that don’t know, God willing, this September I will celebrate eleven years of recovery from alcohol addiction through God’s grace and the support of family and friends. This verse speaks volumes about my struggle with addiction. Yeah, I was a believer but I had other gods, alcohol primarily. In my life, this was the “trouble” that James speaks of in the scripture. Through four DUIs, rehab, jail, I never put this scripture that I had learned into action! I never considered going through the pain or being away from those I loved as joy or an opportunity to allow God to grow me. It took going through that to open my eyes to the true power of this verse! Now, no matter what I struggle with or storm I am in, I think back to that lowest time of my life for a reminder. I need to consider this situation I am in as joy, and to praise God I am alive and breathing.
I would be lying if I said it was always easy, but that is where I can be grateful to have a community of faith and family to lift me up and remind me of God’s promises! Now, I am open about who I am and use my past to show God’s power and mercy. I am a Christian in recovery, but more importantly I am a child of God. If my testimony can help someone else realize they aren’t alone, then glory to God. I am thankful for that trouble because I know I have grown closer to God and that God saved me for a purpose for his Kingdom. I know my faith was tested during that time, but I am thankful that I knew God then and even more thankful that I know him more now! Don’t lose hope. Nobody likes pain or trouble, but when we get to Heaven it will all be washed away.
Prayer: Dear God, I am thankful for my troubles. Though it may not seem like it now, I know through it all you are growing and molding me to become more like you. I know that there is purpose in the pain! Lord, please let my hurting be my testimony to help others and bring them closer to you. Help me to learn during this time and to strengthen me for future battles. Use me as a vessel, in your name… Amen.
Plugged In Team Leader
Stephen Vogel has been coming to The Journey for almost six years now and it is crazy to think how God has changed his life here! He was able to start a Recovery J-Group that has grown far beyond what he could have ever imagined. The men that lead and run the group now have done amazing things through the recovery community, showing God’s grace. Steve was able to baptize his beautiful wife and watch his adorable daughter grow in their walks through the years at The Journey. It has been an incredible journey here for Steve… God is good!
- Check out this awesome message from our Lead Pastor, Mark Johnston, Obstacle or Opportunity?
- Read Romans 8:18-21, 28:30 and think about the “troubles” that God has brought you through and worked for your good.
- Make a list of the troubles God has brought you through and pray over it. Thank God for his blessings and what he has done in your life! When we do life with Jesus, relying on him, there is joy in the midst of suffering.