i love this translation of James 1:2-5.  this has been a real encouragement to me lately!

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. James 1:1-5 The Message

i love the phrase “your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.”  i really believe in the idea of being authentic, not fake, and honest.  and the truth is my journey of faith has not been one that i would ever describe as easy.  as a counselor and pastor i am constantly challenging those i serve to “put their faith out in the open and to let people see their true colors.”  it means share your doubts, tell the truth – life is hard, asking for help, etc.  having lots of changes where I work, having had knee surgery, my wife having surgery, things being tight financially, along with juggling a 4 year old and a 2 year old, can make you wonder what in the world is going on some times.  i’m thankful for my past that reminds me of God’s faithfulness in the midst of other past difficult hard times.  it reminds me that God does provide and protect.  and it reminds me that in the moment God is brewing something up for the future that is exciting.  i hope this text finds you well and gives you some encouragement as it has to me.  the truth is in the midst of the hard and the difficult there present with it is also the wonderful, exciting, and great things that are happening.

God help me to see the both and.

and help me to continue to walk humbly, moving forward with you!

Amen.

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