Today’s reading is James 1 and Psalm 23 which are two of my favorites in the Bible.
Is God enough? I first heard this question asked a few years ago by a speaker who was giving her testimonial about hitting rock bottom when nothing seemed to be going her way. She was about to lose her job due to poor performance, she was already in a bad financial position, and she nearly died in a motorcycle accident. It was until she asked herself this question and finally decided God was all she really needed that her life began to turn around. When I read Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepard; I shall not want.” I can’t help but think of the question, “Is God enough?” This is a really hard one for me to say yes if I answer honestly. If I lost my family, health, home, money, possessions, and everything, could I honestly say, “I’m good..I’ve got Him, and He’s all I need.” (Psalm 23:4)
I find it very interesting James 1:2 says to “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” The use of “when” instead of “if” is not a coincidence. This tells us we will face trials and the question is about how we will react. I don’t believe God causes these trials when you read Romans 8:28, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” However, I believe He is watching to see how we will react and if we will trust in Him, and by the way, so is everyone else who knows we are a Christian.
“Count it all joy..” Really?! God can remove our problems and pains at any time because He’s God. We can understandably be mad at Him for not removing them and tell Him He’s wrong for not doing so or we can remember verses like Isaiah 55:9. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We can ask ourselves, I wonder what God is doing in my life and heart right now to turn this into a positive. James 1:2-3 tells us the testing of our faith in Him produces perseverance. It also tells us that perseverance needs to have its maximum impact so we may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. The question then comes, how do we become perfect and complete? If we look at James 1:5-8, I believe it’s by having faith, asking for wisdom, and TRULY believing He can do whatever you ask and need, but most importantly, I believe it is by the realization that He is in fact… enough. If we are real with ourselves, do we truly believe He can take our illness, financial hardship, broken relationships or whatever pain or problem we have away? If we believe that He can and that he’s enough, it does not mean that He will, but that’s what He’s looking for. That is how His perfect plan is complete, and we lack nothing. ..by trusting in Him fully. James 1:12 tells us that when we have persevered and truly tell Him that He’s enough and when He has all of our heart, we will receive the crown of life. He promises this to those who love Him.
Let’s end by going back to Psalm 23:6. It says, “goodness and mercy” will follow and that we will “dwell in His house forever.” Whatever pain and problem we are going through which seems really bad and is really bad and for however long it goes on which seems like a long time pales in comparison to the joy we will have in Heaven forever. And forever is a long time.
As we go forth today, let us pray and truly believe the following short and sweet prayer that is pleasing to God and shows we are complete and lacking nothing. “God, you are enough, and you will always be enough..no matter what happens in my life.”