Prayer: Great God, we come before You at the beginning of the new year. This is the day that You have made and we will rejoice in it. This is the day that You ask us to ponder and look to You. As we dwell in Your love this day, we thank You for the beginning of reading more about You this year. Open our minds and our hearts to Your words and give us the wisdom to share this good news with our family and friends and neighbours. Open our eyes to doing Your will. Open our ears to hear Your Word. Open our lips to give You thanks and Praise! We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Read James 1: 1-4
James tells us that no matter what trials we are presently enduring, God is with us. Count it all joy when bad stuff happens. Joyful? When bad stuff happens our first reaction is not to give thanks in joy. But for the community of Christians that James was writing, the community was going through trials and testing. Living in a community where Christianity was not a way of life was tough. Each day Christians were put to the test by the community to discover what made them believe differently than the community.
James writes that while each trial strengthens our faith, we must remain persistent in the love of God. Don’t give up because we think our trial is too difficult. Remember that God is with us always.
Faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that each of us will be mature and complete.
Ponder today.... how would you define a mature Christian? How is a mature Christian different than anyone else in the community?
Prayer: Thank You O God for today’s Scripture reading. May we take what we have learned today and count it all joy. May we go forth in this new year surrounded by Your love and Your joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.