METHODOLOGY: CONCERNING HARDSHIP
- Hardship (Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray....James 5:13a)
- Happy (Verse 13b)
- Healing and Bodily Restoration (Verse 14-15)
- Confession of sin (Verse 16)
- Prayer for the Community…or nation (Verse17)
The good Lord addresses Hardship many different ways in Scripture. He does so for our edification, illumination, our application and then our liberation....in that order. In this significant tutorial from the entire Book of James, we have an Apostle who knows precisely that of which he speaks. The man was persecuted (and then killed) by the religious authorities in Jerusalem and did not have an easy time even living day to day. So he not only spoke truth, he lived truth
A lot of Christians do not need to have someone describe hardship because it is their current state. What can we tell someone who is physically limited and/or in horrible pain and cannot cope with it spiritually and emotionally? What can we tell someone who is economically challenged and even in dire straits with apparently nowhere to turn? We do not need to teach hardship. People live it. They live it here in the West and in the persecuted Church of the third world countries. We have all gone through hardship in our lives, in many different forms and at many different times. It is the universal condition since the Fall of Mankind (in Genesis 3).
However, what qualifies us to offer assistance to a fellow traveler here is what we learned while emerging victorious through these hardships and how the Lord did it. If we are wise and open to listening to the Spirit of God in these trying times, we will submit to God, lay our lives bare before Him and He will fortify us as we walk through these valleys, but will teach us hope to persevere. This perseverance through prayer and obedience is what James is instructing us towards maturity in Christ and being stronger in prayer, just like he was.
An obedient, repentant Christian, under duress, will keep clean hands or prayers will not be heard. Through it all, God has not left us alone but He has given us His Word to buffet our spirits, and soothe our souls. So as we come to Him in prayer, let us press in on these few of many powerful verses of Scripture, which zone in on Hardship and what God has to say. Our ability to make it through, rests solely on our availability to His Guidance and the reality of His dependability. The sooner we believe these promises and embed them in our minds and souls, the more confident we become of direction of victory in any matter. Therefore, pray through these verses in humility and surrender and then watch God move in a mighty way!
The Premise: 2 Corinthians 8:9 - "you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich" (Jesus knows our fears, cares and pains).
The Prescription: Philippians 4:11-14 "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. read more."
The Promise: "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:3) "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:7) and "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)