I woke up last Friday with James 1 swirling in my head:
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
I didn't realize how much that verse would really mean to me that day. See, I had just had to leave my new job after two separate episodes of anaphylaxis. (Severe allergic reaction). I was allergic to something at my work place. So, I lost my paycheck and my benefits for myself and my children.
This just topped off a string of things going on in my life right now. As I said, I woke up with this scripture on Friday morning, about an hour before they called to tell me that Worker's Comp was NOT going to pay for my time off and medications, etc. Now, I'm going to keep it real here-- Was my first reaction to praise the Lord or was my first reaction to stress and wonder what I was going to do? If you guessed stress out, you would be correct. I went with my NATURAL response.
So, as I was lying in my bed with five thousands thoughts running through my head, the Lord brought back to my mind, the scripture I had woken up with; James 1. Then it was brought to my Spirit, "Why are you having a NATURAL response, when you should be having a SUPERNATURAL response?" Why are you whining about what your going to do? How are you going to make it?" When you know the Word, and the Word says, "I've been young and now I am old, and I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken, nor their children begging for bread." (Psalm 37:25). That "We are MORE than conquerers through Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:37). I knew where HE was going with this.......
Where I was having my "natural" response, the Lord immediately reminded me, that I should ALWAYS have a "supernatural" response ready. God's Word should always be at the tip of my tongue, ready for any and all circumstances that arise. Knowing that there is nothing that has happened that he didn't already know, and already have an answer for!!! His Word says, "He'll make a way where this is no way."That NOTHING is impossible with Him."
So, instead of my being down and stressing myself out, I should have immediately starting praising the Lord. Not FOR the situation, but knowing that IN that situation, He was with me. His Word says He will never leave us nor forsake us!! "That many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord shall deliver us out of them ALL.
" Jeremiah 29:11 states, " I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a HOPE."
When we react with a "natural" response, we only stress ourselves. We can stress ourselves right into a migraine or a stomachache or anxiety and depression. But when we supernaturally respond, we are responding with Praise, and when we respond with praise, we are confessing our belief in what the Word says about our situations, which leads us to hope and peace, even in the middle of our storm!
Philippians 4:4-7 states:
"Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, again I say rejoice. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication WITH thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will GUARD your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!"
Lastly, one of my favorites; James 5:11 - "For we have all heard of the perseverance of Job, and seen the end INTENDED by the Lord, that the Lord is compassionate and merciful."
He knows the beginning to the end. He knows what we have need of before we have need of it. He is faithful, He cannot lie. He will do what He says He will do..... and what he desires from us is our praise. So I have made a conscious decision to meet all of life's ups and downs with a SUPERNATURAL RESPONSE OF PRAISE!!
And where I know this is not some big new revelation... I sure did need to be reminded of it! : )
God is good and his mercy endureth forever!