Journal Entry ~ 04/30/19

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? - James 4:1

We have discussed the causes of our conflict - why we find ourselves in these difficult places of suffering, and what God is hoping to accomplish in our suffering, but there is more to these 10 verses than just *why* we are in the suffering...there is a guide to the way out of our trials as well. 

Consider this: In those dark moments of suffering, life has not ended. Could it be that you are making your suffering worse by the things that you're saying to yourself?  Capture those thoughts and bring them obedient to Christ. Replace those thoughts with thoughts or actions that bring glory to God and He will bless your obedience. 

Here are some practical things to do in your suffering:
1) Resist the lies of the enemy - when we are struggling with anxiety, fear, guilt, or anger, we are listening to the lies of the enemy. But James is telling us here if we resist the devil, he will flee. 

2) Don't give way to fear - fear is about an assessment of aloneness. You are not alone. God is with you in this trial, and so is this community of believers. You just need to reach out.

3) Don't forsake your good Godly habits - when we are overwhelmed with grief in our suffering, we have a tendency to stop reading His Word, praying, going to church, meeting with Godly friends because we are so consumed with the emotions of the trial. This is the most important time to be in His Word, praying, and seeking support from your Christian community. When you are weak, you need to draw upon His strength. 

4) Run to the body of Christ - seek the encouragement of others. God created us to be relational beings who were meant to live in community for this very reason. This broken world can be an incredibly hurtful place.  We need one another. 

5) Count your blessings - one of the best medicines for despair is to list all the things you are grateful for. Yes, it sounds like a prescription for a child, but you actually need to get out a pencil and start a list every time you feel overwhelmed. God tells us to call to mind the ways He has shown His love to us, and when we do, we will find His peace. 

6) Eavesdrop on the eternal life - what are the people at the end of their lives saying??  They are celebrating redemption - get your values clarified by grabbing a hold of a broader perspective of your life. 

7) Humble yourself - instead of exalting ourselves, maneuvering and positioning ourselves so that we look better before others, humble yourselves and watch the most amazing results come of it - He will exalt you. 

Press on  ~ you are loved 💗


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