This Must Be Distinctly Understood

This Must Be Distinctly Understood

Read James 1:2-3
Thought for the Day: Faith starts with accepting life as it is.

Charles Dickens begins A Christmas Carol with a famous line: “Marley was dead.” While the story depicts the incredible transformation of Ebeneezer Scrooge from a miser to one who “knew how to keep Christmas well,” none of that would be possible without accepting this clear premise. In fact, Dickens goes a step further and directly addresses the reader: “This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.” Each year when we revisit this wonderful story, we first accept the reality presented to us: Marley was dead. Ebeneezer Scrooge had a choice: would he accept this or try to live in a distorted version of reality?

What must we distinctly understand in our faith journeys? As we experience the ups-and-downs of life, we have to be honest: there are times that life is really difficult and we encounter our own “Marley was dead” moments. In the Epistle of James, Jesus’ brother (James) asks us to see that the trials we experience in our lives present an opportunity. When we go through difficult times, we have a choice: will we accept that we need to draw close to God? Or, will we try to live in a distorted version of reality?

Nowhere in Scripture is it promised that any of us will live perfect lives. However, Scripture is clear that life will have challenges, but we have our faith to rely on when the going gets tough. When we encounter ups-and-downs, our faith journeys are strengthened when we learn to see that difficult moments give us the chance to rely more fully on God. Rather than trying to create a distorted version of reality this Christmas season, let’s trust God and ask Him to lead whether we face good times or bad.

In Christ,
Pastors Stan and David

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