James 1: 1-8
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
In the first verse James proclaims who he serves - who knows that might not be a bad idea in the letters that we write today. "Bob Wynn, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" may seem a little silly but write that with your own name in place of James' or my name. There is a reminder and power in that even if we do not write this at the beginning of all our letters or emails. Make no mistake the part that follows is addressed to you and me. We are part of "the twelve tribes scattered among the nations." Greetings - y'all!
Verses 2-4 are great strengths when you are face with a tough situation. Next time you face a "trial" try to remember that these times of trial are the very times when you are becoming a mature and finished work. And remember that God's work is perfecting not simply finishing. When we are going through these times it is sometimes frustrating to be reminded "in the moment" of verses 2-4 and on those occasions (when the perspective of verses 2-4 are kind of frustrating) verses 5-7 are the perfect words. If you lack wisdom ask for it and truly believe that you will receive it. I also have found that when I feel like I am "double-minded", like I am being tossed back and forth with waves of uncertainty at the many choice before me, that is the time when I need to stop, pray and remind myself that God is there ready, willing, and able to take on all challenges and all challengers. All he asks is that I ask for his help and know that I will receive it.