Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
Are you confident and daring in your relationship with the Lord? Key word: relationship. It takes a developed relationship with the Father to reach this milestone. If you try to cut corners in spending time with God—in speaking to Him and in listening to Him by spending time in the Word and being Spirit-led—you won’t be secure in that connection with Him. You may tend to shy away from Him and take credit for yourself when things go well, only turning for help when a crisis arises. That, cautions James, can leave you on your own when you need help most.
Lord, help us to overcome our human tendencies. May we embrace adversity and boldly call on You for help to grow us through it. May we hold You as a constant companion and a compass to guide our way. Protect us from ourselves when we are tempted to find our own path.