by Pastor Glenn Crouch
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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father (James 1:17a).
I appreciate how some commentators describe the Book of James as similar to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. In today’s reading, James gives us some practical advice on living lives that glorify God.
He urges us to persevere in our faith as we endure trials and struggles. He warns of the danger of giving in to temptation and how our desires lead to sin, and that sin leads to death. Putting our trust in God when we are struggling doesn’t mean our problems disappear, but rather that our Lord God goes through the tough times with us. As we look back to all that is promised in our baptism, we can receive forgiveness and restore our focus on the cross – on all our Lord Jesus has done. In fact, the tough periods can strengthen our relationship with our Father, thus, increasing our ability to cope with all that comes our way.
The world wants to deceive us into listening to its message over the gospel, but don’t be fooled. Real success and real treasure come from putting your trust in God. The world wants to convince us that it has all the good stuff, but real blessings come from our Heavenly Father.
Are you struggling in some way? Put your trust in Jesus. He understands. Your Heavenly Father loves you. Don’t listen to the world; listen to the Holy Spirit as he guides you through Scripture, prayer and the words and deeds of your fellow Christians.
Merciful Father, I ask that through your Holy Spirit, you will keep me focused on all that your dear Son has done for me. I ask for your comfort for all those I know who are struggling. Show me how I can help them. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Glenn Crouch was born in Brisbane and was baptised in the Methodist Church. He married Karen in a Reformed Baptist Church, and they moved to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia 37 years ago, where Glenn worked as a lecturer in computing. After serving as a Baptist pastor, Glenn joined the Lutheran Church with Karen in 1995. Glenn served as a lay preacher, which led to him becoming a Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP), and he recently transitioned to General Ministry Pastor (GMP). Glenn still lives in Kalgoorlie-Boulder with Karen, where they have raised two boys.