These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.
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Ask | Marisa Tomlinson
S~ If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 (NIV)
O~ God wants us to ask Him for the things we’re needing. When we’re spending time getting to know Him better, he wants to hear from our hearts.
A~ I need wisdom. I often feel like I do not know the right way to go. The one thing I DO know is that if I’m following God, I’m walking the right way. What I struggle with is the wisdom to recognize whether or not I’m actually following Him. I feel like I should know, but sometimes my mind gets so twisted that I question if the path I’m on is His or mine. This verse gives me peace. It says that it’s okay to just ask if I’m confused. If I can stop, quiet my mind, and ask for His guidance, He will not let me down. I get so frustrated when I’m in an uncertain place. I definitely like stability. The frustration that wells up can be quieted; I just have to ask and listen.
P~ Lord, thank you for your patience with me. I am humbled by your willingness to listen, humble, and help your child. I so desperately need Your wisdom to overtake my selfishness. Thank you for never giving up on me.
No Room for Doubt | Deanna George
S~ But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NIV)
O~ No room for doubt when you ask God to participate in your circumstances. Believe with your whole heart, mind, and soul.
A~ If doubt enters into my belief of God’s ability, then I am not really believing God can. Waves can knock you down, just like doubt can discourage and cause you to waiver in your belief of what God is capable of. If I am not receiving an answer, a healing, or a change of heart when I ask for it, that doesn’t mean God is incapable so start doubting him. It just means his plan has a different timetable or answer than I want. It is in these moments/times that I need to stay focused on my belief that God is capable and in charge. It is not the time to doubt him! The situation is already more than I want to deal with, so I don’t want to make it harder than it needs to be. For me, this means I need to get my head on straight through prayer, reading the Word, or listening to praise music that reminds me of who God is.
P~ Lord Jesus, thank you for the reminder that doubt should not be in my thinking when it relates to what and who you are. For me, to believe is to trust and that is plain faith. It is not always easy for me to hand over the control to you. I can get so possessive of my situations. I am sorry that I can struggle with believing that you got it. Please forgive me because I know you are more than capable! Help me to believe that you want to be part of the small matters of my life. I believe nothing is too small or too big for you. I am leaving doubt out of my way of thinking. It is thrown out from my thought process. I believe you are more than enough for all parts of my life.
Persevere | Kelley Deases
S~ Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)
O~ Perseverance under trial. That is the very essence of integrity and true devotion. Persevering connotes staying the course over the long haul, not just for a day or a week, but consistently showing up rain or shine. And, of course, “under trial” means when it’s hard. When the chips are down. Not just when the wind is at our backs.
A~ The trial which has appeared in my own life arrived quite unexpectedly, but is taking its toll on my peace of mind. I was called out by another believer on a doctrinal issue within a group where my doctrine is in the minority. I fully accept and love these brothers and sisters in Christ but am content with where God has me on my journey and am comfortable I have Scriptural and experiential grounds for my position. I don’t fully understand the agitation this one person feels about my not conforming to her theology on this one point. But I can also see clearly the opportunity for growth if I can look to God’s Word, pray for wisdom, and respond with grace and peace. I can also see how easy it could be to take offense and get emotional, allowing this issue to cause division in the Body.
P~ Father, Help me to persevere under this trial. Use it to fortify my faith and strengthen my walk with You.
Sermon | Scott Beckenhauer
My church is doing a really great series from this portion of James. This sermon is very much worth the time to listen to and reflect on!
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