Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20, 2010

"Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned." James 5:12

As I began studying this portion of Scripture it looked at first glance that it might be misplaced. I didn't immediately see how it fit in this section about suffering. But on further meditation I came to see it differently. In fact, the entire section hinges on this one verse!

How so?

What James is telling us in this verse is essentially, "don't play fast and loose with God's truth."
There is never a time when you can afford to depart from God's truth, but ESPECIALLY when you are suffering you need to cling to the truth of Who God is and what He can do. Pain has a way of negatively affecting our thinking. When you are hurting your mind is more susceptible to the lies of the enemy. Suffering can distort your perspective on God and put your future in doubt. That frame of mind can cause you to doubt God and doubt yourself and despair for your future.
Sound familiar?
Here are some ways your thinking gets distorted in the midst of suffering:
You tend to speculate.
When you don't understand what is happening to you or why you are going through it, your human tendency is to speculate why it is happening. You speculate that you may have done something wrong that caused the suffering - that God is puniching you. Or you speculate why God caused this thing to come upon you. Speculating leads you away from the truth and into doubt. If you want answers prayfully search His Word. Meditate don't speculate!
You tend to exaggerate.
If you allow yourself to get immersed in your own suffering you will give way to self-pity. Self-pity leads you to exaggerating your pain and underestimating God's power. Obviously, that is not a good combo.
Make sense?
When you consider the perils of speculation and exaggeration you begin to understand the importance of "letting your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'" Stay firmly rooted in the truth! Do not deviate one inch from what you know to be true about God. Let God be true and your pain, your doubt, your specualtions, your exaggerations - anything else be false!
What are you listening to?