When the going gets (kind of) tough

(This is a repost from blogger.com. I’m switching over to this site and thought I’d bring some posts  with me.)

I just finished teaching a series on the book of James, and the last session we had was talking about prayer in James 5:13-20.

As I began reading through this passage and formulating the lesson, God spoke something to me that hit me right between the eyes, and is something I think a lot of people can identify with:

“Is anyone of you in trouble? He should pray” (Js. 5:13a).

Now I was reading this, and it makes such perfect sense when reading casually. Obviously, when life gets tough, when trials come (and they will come!) it is sometimes easier to come to God and pray to Him because things aren’t going like we had planned or hoped.

It’s easy to turn to God when those life-altering, crazy circumstances come about and the only one you can really rely on is God to get you through.

But, think about this a little differently: what about those moments that are sort of difficult, but not life-altering or horribly awful; what about those things that are just sort of tough, sort of difficult to get through? These are the types of things where I know that I, and maybe some of you, tend to try to do things on my own.

And why not? These are things that maybe I think, Oh, I don’t want to bother God with this petty of a circumstance, I can do this one on my own. I know this is a tough situation, but I’ve handled worse, I can do this one on my own. I’ve got this one, why don’t you take a break from helping me God? You’ve earned it.

But this isn’t the way that God works. Apart from Christ we can do nothing (Jn. 15:5). It’s not even that God will remove us from the trial; we may still have to deal with it, struggle through it, and get past it, but the fact that we turn to God in prayer shows our primary devotion and surrender to Him. We show that He is our priority and He is our strength.

No matter how big or small the blessing or pain, God wants us to turn to Him in praise and prayer. We reveal our heart with our first reaction. Let your first reaction to anything and everything be turning to God and seeking His guidance.

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