40 Days of PRAYER

Dr Jim Brown's TruNorth Devotional
40 Days of PRAYER
Day 13 | WHAT TO DO WITH SUFFERING | James 5:13

James 5:13
“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.”

Sometimes new Christians become discouraged in their faith because they find they still have problems from time to time.  That’s partially our fault for not equipping them to be prepared because another verse says: “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”  (Matthew 5:45)

As every Christian learns in one way or the other, we may still have troubles, problems, suffering and pain in this life.  Lately I have been reminding people that where we are today – as nice as it may seem at times – is NOT heaven.  As that old song says, “This world is not my home I’m just a passin’ through.”

In this verse, James – the half-brother of Jesus (who did NOT believe in Jesus until after the resurrection BTW) – James, via the Holy Spirit, gives us a simple formula.

Are you suffering? Then you MUST pray. James is teaching that the antidote to suffering due to persecution or evil treatment is to seek God’s comfort in prayer.  Note that word “MUST.”  (But only if you want relief!)

On the other side of this coin, James writes: “Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.”

That doesn’t sound like a big deal… but I’ve discovered that the typical Christian seems to spend WAY MORE time whining to God then he does praising God. We don’t like pain – and I get that – so we pray and seek relief.  But then, the answer comes, God gives relief, and we often don’t truly THANK Him and PRAISE Him.  We act just like all the ungrateful little children we’ve seen in our lives (and we were probably one too.)  And unfortunately, even some older Christians have not learned be THANKFUL.

Prayer: LORD, thank You for offering me comfort when I’m hurting. And help me, nudge me by your Spirit, to be thankful more often.  I really do desire to learn that better. Amen.