Transforming Trials is an amazing Bible study written by my good friends, Mason and Marina Shelton.
Week 5 Day 1 focuses on James 5:7-11, 19-20
Mason and Marina’s launching pad statement: I Peter 4:19 says “those who suffer according to God’s will should entrust their souls to the faithful Creator while doing good. Today we aim to entrust our hard times-and our very souls- to God as we strive to look more like him.
The Sheltons use today to begin some reflection time on what we’ve gleaned from these four weeks together.
She asks some hard reflective questions! As we look in the rear view mirror of this study how are we doing on passing the test now that we have gone through the material. Are we patient in the face of suffering? If not perhaps we need to refresh our memory as to the heart of James in this book. They reflect on perseverance! Do we persevere or are we wringing our hands during the process begging God to hurry up the suffering a bit?
Marina and Mason really ask us to sit with and reflect on our trials. They ask us to think of 2-3 folks who have walked through similar trials. They encourage us to reach out to them and ask them what they learned from the trial. I have to say I loved this prompt. I am a community girl. We seem to have lost that even in the church. I love the idea of sitting with a friend and hearing their story and learning their lessons! Why not? If there are pitfalls I could avoid or lessons I could learn from them as I go through the same trial, I’m all in. Iron sharpens iron right?
They end today with a great “trial advice” list they’ve learned from the book of James. It’s super simple:
-Remember the Lord’s coming
-Don’t wander from the truth
Those are some great bullet points from the book of James. When I think about the fact that James is the half brother of Jesus, it makes this book become more vibrant than ever before. Can you imagine what He saw from his half brother, Jesus? Did He see him be patient. Did James see Jesus stand firm when His knees should have been buckling? Did James watch Jesus look off into the sun as if He longed for home? Jesus was probably longing for His father. Did James see Jesus bite His tongue and not grumble perhaps when it was warranted. When did James see his half brother persevere in the greatest moments of trial? James watched Jesus walk out truth. Does this help see James in a different light. I know it did me~
A take-away “one liner” I see from Mason and Marina for Week 5 day 1 are listed below:
“What’s going to make the difference in pondering versus doing? Perseverance, and this comes with intentionality and accountability”.
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