James 1:2-8 “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Have you ever “felt” abandoned by God? I put the word “felt” in quotation marks because we know that according to Deuteronomy 31:8 that God never leaves nor forsakes us. But somehow, no matter how many times we’ve heard it, read it, or spoken it, our feelings have a way of taking over when we’re in a state of waiting. We begin to question God’s presence, our decisions, our abilities, God’s timing, etc. We’ve been faithful, so why isn’t God moving? We’ve been praying with the right motives, so why haven’t our prayers been answered? It simply doesn’t make sense…
I’ve been feeling like I’m in somewhat of a dry season at the moment in so many areas. Nothing seems to be coming together, and I too have asked many of the questions that I presented above. But God reminded me that in order to get stronger, at some point you have to increase your resistance. Your faith is like a muscle that constantly needs to be worked out and strengthened in order to prepare you for higher level battles. So it may not be that you’re doing anything wrong, but rather that you’re doing everything right! The Lord led me to James 1:2-8 as I sought Him regarding this topic, and He gave me 4 things that will help us endure our waiting season in peace:
1. Turn up your Worship – verse 2 tells us to consider it pure joy that God is strengthening us through the testing of our faith. Instead of questioning God’s presence, we need to focus, and celebrate the fact that He is preparing us for something greater. So if you find yourself worrying, release your inner joy through worship!
2. Let God do the Work – verse 4 tells us to let perseverance finish its work so that we lack nothing. We simply cannot rush God no matter how hard we try. Impatience may cause delays, undesirable damage, or unnecessary stress.We have to trust His timing and know that once our waiting period is over that we will be complete, refined, and better than we were before. Patience is key!
3. Seek Wisdom – verse 5 tells us to seek God for wisdom and He’ll give it to us freely. If we are unsure about why we’re going through what we’re going through, how long we’ll have to go through it, etc. then we must seek God. He holds the blueprint to your life, and you’ll have to go to Him for answers, period.
4. Resist the Wind – verse 6, when we seek God for wisdom, we must believe it as truth. Otherwise we may find ourselves wavering in our faith, growing weary, thinking we can accelerate the process ourselves, and so on and so forth. We cannot let our fleeting emotional winds uproot our faith and trust in God. Let the emotions pass, and commit to standing firm!
Maybe you’re like me and things just don’t seem to be gaining any traction in your life at the moment. You’ve worked hard, you’ve been faithful, you’ve prayed, but things have not paid off quite like you had hoped or in the amount of time that you had hoped. You thought things would get better, but instead, it appears as if they have gotten worse. Know that God is with you, He hasn’t left your side, nor has He forsaken you. In fact, He’s doing a work in you that is intended to make you better, no matter how frustrating or painful it may seem right now. Remember that God loves you and is not out to harm you. Whatever you’re going through is only for your good, and that’s worth celebrating! So be patient and rejoice, greater is coming!
God loves you!