Jesus Calling: December 10Make Me the focal point of your search for security. In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe. Not only is this an impossible goal, but it is also counterproductive to spiritual growth. When your private world feels unsteady and you grip My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me.
Instead of yearning for a problem-free life, rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence. In the darkness of adversity, you are able to see more clearly the radiance of My Face. Accept the value of problems in this life, considering them pure joy. Remember that you have an eternity of trouble-free living awaiting you in heaven.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Additional insight regarding Isaiah 41:10: All believers are God's chosen people, and all share the responsibility of representing Him to the world. One day God will bring all his faithful people together. We need not fear because (1) God is with us ("I am with you"); (2) God has established a relationship with us ("I am your God"); and (3) God gives us assurance of his strength, help, and victory over sin and death. Are you aware of all the ways God has helped you?
Psalm 139:10 (NLT)
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support 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.