James 5: People. Pain. Patience. Prayer.
The first part of James 5 talks about all the extra in our lives. It makes reference to money but James is actually addressing our hearts. “You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter” -James 5:5. Take a minute and think about where you are, your life, your friends, even your dark places. What’s it full of? What role do you play in all of it? I’ll tell you my life and the things around me have changed significantly over a relatively short period of time, but my dark is the same. My heart is different, but my problems aren’t.I fatten myself with the opinions of others. Am I good enough; why are they looking at me like that; what are people saying this week. I’m almost ashamed to tell you that sometimes I let myself get swallowed up in what so-and-so’s neighbor’s sister’s cat said about me yesterday to the point that it is literally embarrassing. It was brought to my attention last week that someone has been bad mouthing my new relationship with Jesus and I literally tricked myself into thinking that something was more off about my faith than the girl that would talk about someone trying to love the Lord and do better. Y’all I seriously cried over that. Anything can become a problem in our lives when it consumes us and takes our focus off of the Lord. Every. Single. Day. We must come back to the Lord and who He is and how He changes our focus and desires. Last week I spent more time in a selfish rant than a spiritual walk…where was your heart? what were you focused on? consumed with? If your answer is not Jesus and shining His light, your week was likely as messy as mine. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galations 5:16..
People and Patience. I realized last week just how lost people really are. Just kidding, I re-realized just how lost people really are. James5:9 says don’t grumble against one another. You never know what someone else is battling; remember that. People are bad, y’all. We are BORN to sin. Do you realize that means NATURALLY our instinct is to choose bad over good? Think about that, then consider your relationship with Christ and your daily choices. The people we pass during our daily routines are not in the same place that you are in. It’s hard to remember that when you feel like life is attacking you. Not only are you trying to keep your head above water in your own sin pool; you’re also trying to not drown the bad of everyone else. It is hard, you’ll fight it everyday… and sometimes you’ll sink. I had one those “this is getting me, I can’t breathe” weeks last week. then I remembered.. Pain. Pain does not control you. People do not control you. Your circumstances and the hurt others hurl at you..ALSO do not control you. It’s a process, for whatever reason. Like one of those annoying 1000 piece puzzles, you’re starting from a little box full of too many pieces. Each small piece in that pile of mess in that box serves purpose in our lives. If we skip one small piece, our picture would never be whole. You cannot skip steps to get where you need to go. A hole will always be a hole, but you will not notice it until you do. It will show up in your relationships, in your marriage, in your life.. and you will have never realized the damage an empty space can create until you’re standing right in the middle of it. unfortunately pain makes up much of those pieces laying in your box. Don’t ignore them; Don’t push them back. Acknowledge what hurts, pick up the piece and pray over it. If you don’t remember anything else I tell you, remember your pain is not purposeless, feel that to your very core. Be patient. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve said to me.. Katie, there is a reason here, you won’t know what it is until you do so just wait. He is with you. At the right time, that piece will wedge itself into its home spot and you will be able to see the bigger picture; the puzzle will look less like pieces and more like life. Patience. Wait.
“Fix your eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen.”- 2 corinthians 4:18
So then prayer. James tells us in chapter 4 verse 2 that if your prayers are unheard, you’re praying with the wrong motives, with self ambition. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” -Matthew 21:22 Pray. Mean it. Have an intimate relationship with Christ and I promise, even in the nasty you will feel the peace. I’ve told you to be patient, to wait. Notice I didn’t say rest. Rest is defined as a bodily state of minimal function. Of course we can be still in the Lord, rest in Him… but that rest is prayer. It is praying that He will oversee and will His way on something you know you shouldn’t be interceding on and trying to fix yourself. Prayer, not lazy prayer, not minimal prayer. I’m learning more and more every single day what it means to be in a committed relationship with the Lord. It is work; It takes time, but it is beautiful. The Lord is in constant work in our lives, but the devil’s work is exceedingly persistent. The difference is the choice of evil is always more appealing when the choice of God does not always seem that way. BUT IT IS. The choice of good over unknowing evil is always better, Jesus is always better. Mediocre faith leads to mediocre happiness in life. You can’t, You won’t find something you are half looking for.
People. Pain. Patience. Prayer. People are mean, Pain is painful, patience is hard, and prayer… it works. People, things, world… it will all try to hurt you.. purposefully… but this, whatever your this is, is not purposeless. Keep picking up pieces in prayer. Search every single dark corner of your life with Christ and take the steps to fill the holes, not leaving one single place unfilled. He will make you, your puzzle, complete. It will probably look like nothing like what you had imagine, but the pieces will come together with Him. It will take time. The beauty in it all though is this: God is never late, friends, and He is never wrong either.
love you guys!