This is the reason I have chosen “Be of Good Cheer” as the theme for 2021 at Damascus Way Recovery. At some point in our lives, or at the present moment, many of us have experienced various tribulations. It is difficult to maintain a passionate and positive disposition where we are maintaining good spirits. We are not alone. Christ strengthens us, gives us the hope we need, and through our humility and submission to our Heavenly Father’s divine grace and will. The burden of facing our sufferings will be lightened.
How do we walk in peace during times of tribulation and sorrow? When the hearts of men fail them daily? When there is so much contention and divisiveness within our culture? The answer is when we give ourselves over to Christ daily. The heart of the message of the Gospel is for all humanity to come and find peace whereby they are at peace within themselves and at peace with others.
Whether we are rich or poor – we still are beggars standing in need of mercy, grace, compassion, and forgiveness. The Epistle of James reminds us of this reality and truth. Therefore, when we shift our attitudes and perceptions from a worldly concept and false belief, we are able to comprehend and understand the eternal principles of God’s divine royal law of love.
James spends a few verses teaching us how Genuine faith produces authentic religious piety. He begins by sharing with us how we are to listen and be slow to wrath. He instructs that we are to set aside the disposition of the natural man and replace it with the righteousness of Christ through the message of the Gospel. Third, he teaches that we are to become workers of righteousness and love. James also reflects the importance of bridling our tongue so that we do not defile ourselves. And finally he instructs that our purpose is to visit those who are marginalized and care for their needs.
Genuine faith stems from genuine humility. Our humility and faith is shaped from those trials we face in our lives. We are richly blessed beyond measure. The challenge is to keep ourselves humble regardless of how blessed we are. I also want to add that humility is the means in which we shore up treasures in heaven and not here on earth (see Matthew 6:19-20). It is not one of many Christian Virtues. It is the root of all Christian virtues. Humility is the root of genuine faith in God.
James 1:1-4 teaches us the simple and practical truth. That through our faith, patience helps us endure suffering, and the wisdom we gain helps us make the necessary changes and adjust according to the circumstances. Yes – it is true. In the storms of life, we do not have the power and authority to change the tempest. We are empowered to adjust those sails.
Approaching any scripture means we are wanting to understand the important message that may stay with us over time. Messages that will challenge our present worldview and perceptions. This is especially true when it comes to understanding the nature and character of God and how we find our divine heritage and identity through Him. Overall objective is to comprehend what we are reading. Properly interpret our own understanding of the passage