DATE: May 21, 2019
TEXT: James 1: 2-3 – ESV - Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
“God is great. God is good” That ‘s the way the prayer begins.
Unfortunately, there are times when we find those simple statements of faith hard to believe.
Day-to-day living can break down our confidence which ought to hold the Lord always has our best interests at heart. Like the friends of Job we come to believe that we have sinned and the Lord is going to take out some punishment on our hide. .
Then, out of the blue, when we’re already shaken, comes a disaster of monumental, and unprecedented proportions. Before we know it, we have concluded the Lord has got it in for us… and we begin to put the worst not the best construction on everything He does.
Which is why this little story from the old west might help.
It begins in the 1880’s when a woman, along with her little baby, was riding in an open stagecoach across western Montana. The weather was bitter cold, and the mother started to fall into the sleepy, numbing chill of death.
Seeing her condition, the driver stopped the coach, took the baby and, wrapped him warmly and carefully placed him under the seat. He then set the mother down on the road and, without a word, he drove away, leaving her behind.
The woman, seeing the coach, along with her baby, grow smaller as it got further ahead, began to panic. She shook off her lethargy; and followed in the tracks of the coach. Her walk became a jog, her jog became a run.
Finally, when the driver was sure the mother was functioning and her blood was flowing, he stopped the coach, welcomed the mother back aboard, and reunited her with her child. Now the question is this: did the driver perform a loving or a cruel act? How do you think the mother felt?
Would you believe me if I said, not so long afterward, the mother changed her mind about the action of the driver? She understood his unpleasant actions had saved both of them.
Amazingly, while most people can understand the actions of the driver, they don’t do the same with the Lord.
The truth is, God, Who sent His Son to save us, continues to care. He cares even during the difficult times and circumstances of life
If pains and problems arise, we can be confident they can be used by the Holy Spirit to bring us closer to our Lord. Which is why I suggest if your faith is cooling down, or you’re finding yourself starting to fall asleep spiritually, do not be surprised if God stops the coach and sets you running on the road.
If it happens, think twice before you get mad at God. He may just be saving your life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes I don't see how much You care. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use even the most difficult circumstances to bring me closer to You. Give me trust in Your goodness and gracious hand which is most evident in the Savior’s sacrifice. In His Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html