Thursday, November 27, 2008



According to James in his early writings there are three ways to handle your troubles. The first way is to refocus by rejoicing in the product God is working in you. God is using your trouble to purify you and make you stronger-refocusing on the end result rather than the problem itself is what's required here.

The second way to handle your troubles again involves refocusing. This time it is to refocus away from your problems and request the wisdom of God necessary to get you through this difficult time.

Now, the third way to handle your troubles once more requires refocusing. As in the first two you are to refocus away from your problems and on to something else. This time it is refocusing by reconsidering your position before God.

Let's tune in to what James says here: Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation-since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. (James 1:9-11)

There are two kinds of positions mentioned here-a person of high position and a person of a low position of humiliation. First, those who are believers in Jesus who find themselves in humble circumstances are to embrace their high position with the Lord Jesus. No matter how poor you are, if you are in relationship with Jesus, you have a high spiritual perspective on life. You see things from His perspective-the vantage point of the highest, richest position of all-a position where there are no impossibilities. He says to take pride in the fact that you have such a high position with Him. If you are poor, refocus on your spiritual riches.

Second, those believers who find themselves rich from an earthly perspective must take pride in their humiliation. Believers who have a lot of stuff are also well aware that they are managers of what God has given them and they know how easily these blessings of riches come and go. If you are rich and you know these riches are temporary and fleeting, refocus on your humility before God.

Trials are the great leveler of both rich & poor! Everyone experiences trouble, no matter your position in life. We all find our joy and satisfaction in relationship with the Lord Jesus.

There is a promise that underlies this principle. I call this one the promise of great expectations. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

God promises to stick with you and "perfect" or complete His work in your life until Jesus comes back. It's too easy to give up, due to impatience on our part. God is continually at work in you to develop and grow you up spiritually. Let me caution you. The Lord will do His work in His way and in His time.

So, to sum up the message of James regarding how to handle trials and troubles in your life, he suggests three appropriate responses. REFOCUS: 1. By rejoicing in the end product and not the problem itself. 2. By requesting wisdom from God in order to make your way through your struggles. 3. By reconsidering your position with Jesus-whether rich or poor.

Trials and troubles don't have to be bad things in your life. Don't waste these trials; allow God to use them to strengthen your faith. I saw this on a bumper sticker many years ago: Faith is like a kite-a contrary wind makes it go higher! So, the next time a problem pops up in your life, treat it as a friend and allow God to do His work in your life in His way and in His time.