Week 1, Tuesday, James 1:2-4



by Pastor Sunil Balasundaram



(Please read the passage before, or after, reading the devotion.)

Go to James 1:2-4


masochist (noun). a person who takes pleasure in pain and suffering (general meaning). No, that is not what James says followers of Jesus are to be(come). But he sees pain and suffering as realities of life. Especially in the life of the follower of Jesus. God does not shield us from it; He even allowed His Son Jesus to go through it (cf. Hebrews 2:10). I don’t believe that the Bible teaches that God causes the suffering people experience. And yet He seems to allow it. C.S. Lewis gives one perspective why, in his book The Problem of Pain: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Could it be that I listen more intently through my pain? James reminds us that one of God’s greatest desires for us humans is that He finish what He started in us, and make us “mature and complete” as His new creation. And He will especially use pain and suffering to make that possible – if we will allow Him. That’s why I can have “joy” – I know that God and I will not let that suffering to either overwhelm me or be wasted!



Forgive me, O Suffering Servant, when I feel you don’t understand me. You went through all I go through, and more, didn’t you, Lord? I now feel your compassion in my deepest suffering. But there’s more: I know you are with me through it all. And when I give you my pain, you don’t let it overwhelm me (even though at times I feel I cannot take any more). Instead, you take that pain and with your nail-scarred hands use it to complete the masterpiece you began when I accepted you as my Savior. And that gives me hope, and an overflowing sense of fullness – joy! Amen.

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