So we start with verses 2-4 (this from the Message)...
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Not gonna lie... even though I don't want my marriage to end there have been times where I have wanted out... to call it quits. Give up. Be done with it. I haven't done that because I know it's not right... but that doesn't mean there haven't been times where I have been ready to walk away. But there it was in my Bible tonight... Don' try to get out of anything prematurely.
Premature means done too soon. If I stick this out and do the hard work of getting back to good... I'll be a better person because of it.
I continued reading and next up is my all time favorite verse. It's my go-to in all times of trouble. It's the advice I give to others all the time.
James 1:5... If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I. Need. Wisdom.
Then I read that blessed are those who persevere under trial (v12) and that we are tempted by our own evil desires (v14).
But it was James 1:19-21 that managed to pierce my heart tonight. I've read it a gazillion times but tonight it had new, fresh meaning for me. It wasn't an easy thing for my heart to hear but it was necessary that my heart hear it.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Now... I am no Bible scholar. I didn't do an in-depth study on these verses. I don't know exactly what they are meant to mean but I know exactly how God used them in my heart tonight.
I have been so stuck in anger... and I'm still angry and it isn't going to go away overnight. BUT. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Righteousness is the state of being righteous.
Righteous means acting in an upright, moral way; virtuous.
(Or we could even run with the slang definition of righteous here... absolutely genuine or wonderful.)
And then I am told to get rid of all moral filth and evil.
For me that means bitterness.
Lastly, I'm told to accept the word (of God) planted in me because it can save me. It can do so much more than save me in the sense of salvation and eternal life with God. It can save me NOW. It can save my heart. It can save my marriage. It can save my life.
Pray for me as I let God do some major heart surgery.
Panerapy was good tonight!