Dear brother & sister…
Feeling under pressure?
Looking for a way out of the pain & discomfort such pressure puts on you?
Crying out for help, comfort & security?
You’re in Good Hands!
James 1 gives us Divine clarity & guidance for the painful pressures that come with life as Christ-followers. Below are 2 truths to remember when you are under trial:
1. God’s Sovereign perspective of trials are counter-cultural: trials are gifts to be received with faith for our good, not “curses” to be received with resentment for our demise.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests & challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open & shows its true colors.  So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become MATURE & WELL-DEVELOPED, NOT DEFICIENT in any way. -James 1:2-4 (MSG)
2. In each & every trial, God loves to help & offers us His perfect, abundant, loving guidance.
His offer is present…just ask Him.
If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, & won't be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. -James 1:5-6 (MSG)
Join me in heart-prayer as you read the following encouraging prayer I wrote out to our Heavenly Father as I recently been placed "under trial," once again...
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for allowing me to experience the zeal of your grace which relentlessly pursues my holiness, not my happiness. Thank you that the hardships I face are mere tools in Your hand for Your exposing, forgiving, liberating and transforming grace to have its full and complete effect on my soul, heart, mind and body.
Thank you, oh Father, for your power and wisdom you grant me upon asking so I am enabled to remain steadfast under every hardship, especially when my natural bent is to run from trial and get out of the pressure prematurely. You tell me in Your Word that trials are to be counted as a gift. My natural mind thinks this absurd. Thus again, you invite me to walk with You by faith, confidently believing Your Truth that You are always and forever for my greatest good, lasting satisfaction and for your deserved glory!
Father, I have much ahead of me, but not one tiny bit of these moments slip your Sovereign Eye and Divine, Perfect Purpose. That's right, YOU are the key, the anchor to my steadfastness under each pressure and trial! Thank you, Father.
Oh dear Heavenly Father, I do desire to let steadfastness have its full effect on my heart and mind. You say trials will come, and come often, and with levels of brutality. I so easily waver when trial come. I so quickly look for an immediate “escape route.” I get scared. I lose my bearing. I flail as though I am certain to drown…
…and then I recount Your Word in 2 Timothy 1:7 that You have given us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” Thank you for this promise as I journey through and under trial focusing on Your truth by taking all my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) as I hold the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16), acting on truth, not emotion. This is steadfastness having its full affect: Resolute and unwavering due to determined anchoring to the UNmovable Christ and His power, His promises. More truth into action, and more Jesus into me.
In Jesus name,