Jesus Calling: June 4thWelcome challenging times as opportunities to Trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn't make it past the first hurdle!
The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day's problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me.
James 1:2 (NLT)
Faith and Endurance
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
Additional insight regarding James 1:2,3: James doesn't say if trouble comes your way but when it does. He assumes that we will have troubles and that it is possible to profit from them with increased endurance. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain but to have a positive outlook ("consider it an opportunity for great joy") because of what troubles can produce in our life. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach us perseverance.
Additional insight regarding James 1:2-4: We can't really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask him to help you solve your problems or give you strength to endure them. Then be patient. God will not leave you alone with your problems; he will stay close and help you grow.
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Additional insight regarding Philippians 4:13: Can we really do everything? The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. He does not grant us superhuman ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to his interests. As we contend for the faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials. As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you.
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Additional insight regarding Isaiah 26:3: We can never avoid strife in the world around us, but when we fix our thoughts on God, we can know the perfect peace even in turmoil. As we focus our mind on God and his Word, we become steady and stable. Supported by God's unchanging love and mighty power, we are not shaken by the surrounding chaos (see Philippians 4:7 - "Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."). Do you want peace? Keep your thoughts on God and your truth in him!
PREVIOUS DAY'S JESUS CALLING: June 3rd
NEXT DAY'S JESUS CALLING: June 5th