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May 3 – James 1:1-4

In May, we are spending 4 weeks in the book of James–a how-to book on being a Christian. Our study uses the SOAP method of Bible study to seek an application for each reading (not sure what this is? Check out the What’s SOAP? tab). We have provided an example SOAP note below today’s reading. Join in this study by completing the daily readings and journaling using SOAP, and you are welcome to use the Comments section at the bottom of our homepage to share or ask questions.

Reading: James 1:1-4

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

SOAP Note

Find Joy in Suffering | Marianne Toovey

Scripture

James 1:2

Observation

Life here on earth isn’t perfect. As such, we’re to expect suffering. Everyone goes through hard times, it’s inevitable. I’m given two choices: I can either shut down, throw a pity party, and complain until it’s over; or I can receive it with joy. After all, making it through something hard will only make me stronger. An opportunity to grow and be a better person is certainly a reason to celebrate, right?

Application

When my daughter and I began the slow, daunting process of memorizing the entire book of James in the fall for school, it was in the back of my mind that these first few verses would be put to the test in my life. I had no idea how or when, but I certainly wasn’t expecting a cancer diagnosis. I can’t say I always handle it with grace or dignity. Sometimes, I don’t even handle it at all! But having these words of James beat into my brain and my very understanding during all of this has brought me a peace I can’t explain. I don’t always consider my suffering a joy, but I am learning to let go of my fears, doubts, and worries. I’m learning to lean on God rather than trying to handle things on my own. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, and I’m not a fan of how I’ve had to learn it, but the fact remains that I’m growing in my faith and my relationship with my Heavenly Father – and that right there is cause for celebration.

Prayer

Lord, I know You’re with me and have everything under control. I do trust Your will and Your timing for my life – even though I don’t always like it! I can see how this experience is shaping me, and I pray You continue to use my situation for Your glory. Thank You for showing me how to find joy in my trials and for all You’ve done for me through this diagnosis. I love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Discover One Thing main website has more resources on the SOAP method of Bible study. Click HERE to go to the website.