God is such a gracious God, that He would give us a way to be filled when we feel dryness setting in. When troubles come and the storms start rolling in, God is there ready, as Psalm 23 states, to make your cup overflow. That He is aware that as humans we will fail in areas and drop our focus. But as we read in James, God is wanting to fill us up when we lack the very things God is wanting us to be full of.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:1-8, NIV)
There are three things that James writes that we must be ready to do when troubles come: Persevere, Ask, Believe. In doing this, we will see God's good works in our lives and we will learn each time, how to handle ourselves when the enemy come to lie, steal and destroy.
Firstly perseverance, what is needed to run races (Heb 12:1), become mature (Jms 1:3), and reach godliness (2 Pet 1:6). In the James reading, we see that we should find it pure joy when trouble comes because it gives us a chance to test our faith in God, which produces perseverance, to get over this problem. Each time trouble comes, your perseverance should grow more and more. Why should we be persistent?...so we might be mature and complete, NOT LACKING ANYTHING. God wants us to be full, He does not want us lacking in any area. He allows Satan to attack us (within our own abilities - 1 Cor 10:3), so we can build on our faith and grow in perseverance. So what do we do if we are finding hard and we feel our faith slipping? Go to God.
God is a God of blessing and love. He loves to bless us (Ex 34:6) even though we do not deserve it. If we ask anything of God, he will hear it. James wrote that through perseverance we would lack nothing, but there are certainly times through the being persistent that we may start to feel a sense of lacking. Whether it's our trust in God, our hope in God, our self-control, our faith, our words, our thoughts (etc.), there will come times when we will need to stop relying on our own strength and give these areas over to God. God had an unbreakable faith, a loving mouth, a conquering truth and an unmovable self control (and much more) that we have access to if we only ask. God wants us to be strong in all the areas of our life, he wants us to fill up the areas that are going dry, he wants us to come to him and cry out for the overflowing he has promised us. However, to obtain these promises, you must, when you pray, BELIEVE that God can give them to you.
You don't want to be the unstable one or the double minded one that James talks about here do you? Neither does God. When you ask God for something, he wants you to believe that you already have it (Mt 21:22). Belief is what lets God know that you seriously want what you are asking for. When you believe that God is a God of absolute abundance and love and grace and mercy, you show him that you know he could give you the things you have asked and you are much more likely to receive it. God loves us, he wants to fill our lives with good things and he wants to fill our cup to overflowing, so believe when you pray, that you will get what you prayed for, and if you are struggling, ask for God's faith, because it is unwavering, unbreakable, unshakable and victorious.
So consider it a joy when trouble comes. Know that God wants to produce perseverance in your life so he may make you mature and complete, lacking in nothing. Know that God wants you to go to him when you lack something because he will give you his unbeatable power, faith, trust, hope and so on. Know that God wants you to believe in his promises and his goodness and that he will give you whatever you ask for. God loves us, he cares for us, he never leaves us and he always want the best for us. No matter what is on the horizon, God will be right there with you, giving you the chance to persevere, ask and believe.
Tim McDonald lives and works in Mackay Queensland with a family of four children and is the drummer in his church's youthful band.
Tim McDonald's archive of previous article can be found at: www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-mcdonald.htm