But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works. James 2:18-22
Have I ever mentioned that I love the book of James? Well, I do.
In fact, a few of my favorite verses, which I’ve mentioned in several previous posts, are ones that are quoted often:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Even though I typically read and study from the ESV, I LOVE the way NIV tells us in verse 2 to “consider it PURE joy.”
Earlier this week, I found myself just having a really bad day.
You know, one of those days that starts off really great and good things happen, but then all of a sudden something happens that knocks the wind right out of you. One minute you feel strong and tall, and the next minute you’re on the floor, feeling hopeless.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a tough day of the magnitude I just described, but I do want to share with you how I got through it. It made a world of difference to my perspective and my pain, and I hope it encourages someone out there.
You know that verse in James that tells us to rejoice when we’re going through a tough time?
You know what I’m talking about. A guest speaker (actually, the former pastor of my church and our current lead pastor’s father) mentioned this verse last Sunday and referred to it as “that pesky verse in James.” Hearing it reminded me of how I have been wanting to blog about it. Check it out:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kids. James 1:2
If you’re reading that verse for the very first time, you’re probably thinking, “Huh? Seriously?”