James- Day 56

Monday, November 14, 2011

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. James 5:13

Have you ever been “in trouble?”  I’m not talking about the kind of “in trouble” you used to get in with your parents or teachers.  What I’m talking about is just difficulty that is just inherent with being alive.  James asks this question in today’s verse.  “Is any among you afflicted?”  Is anyone here going through difficulties?  I know all of us could answer yes to this question at some point in our lives.  What does James tell us to do? Pray!

My mom is good at this.  I remember whenever I had lost anything growing up I would do what any kid does–go ask mom!  When I would ask her, she would most often say, “No, I haven’t seen that.  Did you pray about it?”  Usually I would roll my eyes and set out to continue looking for the lost item until I got so frustrated that I took her advice.  More than once it was after I prayed that I found what I was looking for.

Someone may say, “Yeah, right.  You would have found it eventually anway.”  Who knows?  Here is what I do know now.  God is concerned with my life, and He wants me to pray when I run into difficulty.

God can turn trouble into triumphs.

James asks another question.  “Is any merry?”  Have you ever had a time in your life when you were just really happy.  Maybe you got a great score on a test, a promotion at work, or a day off.  Whatever the reason, big or little, James tells us to “sing psalms” when we are happy.  Now why would He do that?

The psalms were songs of praise to God.  James says that when we are merry we should be able to praise God during those times.  Why?  Because if it is something we should be merry about then it came from Him anyway.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh from above, from the Father of lights in whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning.”  Songs of worship (especially ones that are based in scripture, or actual scripture put to music) can be a great way for us to express a grateful and thankful heart to God for what He has given to us.

Application:       The application today is pretty simple.  Do you have something to be happy about?  Sing a song of praise to God!Are you going through a difficulty?  It’s time to pray.  Which one do you need to do today?