Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4 (AMP)
"Don’t be so hard on yourself. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design...
...Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do."
Jesus Calling, May 9
I usually catch myself just on the other side of a crossed line. I'm getting better and better at not crossing into the other side... seeing it and hearing it before I get snared by its awaiting emotions of frustration and annoyance certain to jump me. The line I am referring to is that of reality vs. comfort. When I lose the context of my story; warfare... I am easily a line crosser. I most often can feel it when my false self has slipped into the driver's seat and is looking for ways of comfort, convenience, and control. Not good.
It is amazing the challenge, beauty, and significance of learning how to Struggle Well. I love the term as it describes what a Life with Christ will often feel like and look like… struggle. He didn’t promise me an easy life but a full one, an abundant one (John 10:10). I guess it comes down to my definition of full and abundant. Best way to get at that is to hear what a person complains about. Expectations and complaints are connected at the hip. The Apostle James puts a spin on challenging times and difficult moments with the invitation to greet them… welcome them into my life. I believe James has the definition of full and abundant—a life dependent on Jesus in this war-torn world. We live outside the garden for now, and we contend with an enemy that opposes our Life with God and our peace within. This condition drives me to God and when I cross a line, as soon as I turn, He is there wooing me back to Himself, inviting me to learn again the lines are there for my provision and protection… for my ability to struggle well and enjoy an abundant Life.
This week in the Zoweh shop we have a board meeting and several conversations about the months ahead. We are working on sharing and marketing The Heart of a Warrior book and EXPEDITION DVD series especially with church allies as men and men’s ministries are looking for what to enter into next. Pray with us for favor and for allies in the mission of rescuing hearts and advancing the Kingdom.
Dear God, Holy Trinity, we praise your name... we praise your glorious name. Thank you for all the good you are up to in our lives. We confess there are times we don’t see it. We confess we cross the lines and re-enter the smaller story too often and fall to a small life where we are at the center and we are attempting to be at the controls. Thank you Father for the constant invitation to walk with you, to be fathered by you, to learn and see, walk and hear the instruction and correction of the Abundant Life. We struggle to trust and struggle to allow you to love us in these wild and mysterious ways… we pray for courage and strength to struggle well.
Jesus, thank you for showing us what a Life like this looks like. Thank you for entering into the story you were writing with the Father and taking the lead role of Savior, Shepherd, and Teacher. We confess, we need all of you. Jesus, give us eyes to see and ears to hear when we have crossed lines and are living under the influence of the false-self or the lies of the enemy, Satan, and the kingdom of darkness.
Holy Spirit, we entrust our hearts to you again this day, another day of training... learning how to be like Jesus and entering into this Life, His Life, open to what lies ahead. Whatever our opportunity, whatever our struggle, Holy Spirit, prompt our hearts to enter in and if need be, struggle well. Taking back ground from our past or establishing new ways to love and trust you in Life’s everyday we declare your nearness and proclaim your goodness in and over our lives. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for desiring our maturing and for infusing us with your peace.
We receive all you are, precious God, and all you desire for us to be. It is in the holy and glorious name of Jesus we pray... amen and AMEN.