What I’m Looking For

What I’m Looking For

Sister Miki Terayama - 20 March 2022

Weekend Devotion: "What I'm Looking For"

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It is very easy to talk about what we do not want, do not like and do not agree with, but when it comes down to “what is it that we really want?”, we can get into a bit of a pickle. We live in times now where we know better what we do not want, but are unsure of setting our foot down on what we do want. That is why sometimes when I talk to some brethren, even as they come to church weekly, they still cannot find joy and are unsure of what they are pursuing after. For youths, they may be mugging exams after exams, but feeling a lack of meaning, because they are not sure why and where it leads them. Now why is this case with so many of us? Because there is gap in terms of having a fixed perspective. In a fast changing world, even though we can get all sorts of information at the tip of our fingers and are easily in the know of things, we also gradually lose the foundation of making sound judgment. Our definition of success and value are all constantly altered by our surroundings, cultural standards and such. But is it true that we should only feel good when we have outward achievements? Or when we receiving the nod of approval and applause from people? If trials come at us, is it possible to see victory through it? Now let us once again find out what we want, through the Word in these verses today.
In James 1:2-8, it says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] 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.” These few verses gives us insight into what we should be wanting and searching for.

Joy In Trials

Now in the first part of the verses, it says that we should “consider it pure joy when we face trials”. Regardless of our backgrounds, spirituality, age and experiences, trials are a given. But the attitude as we face our trials, is the deal breaker. People of the world may face trials head on with lamentations, self perseverance, or positivity. However, the Bible tells us that we should instead receive our trials with pure joy. But isn’t that counter intuitive? How can consider it pure joy in hard times?

Mature And Complete Faith, Not Lacking Anything

Because we know that the fruits we will bear at the end of the trial is different from one who does not know God. What fruit would we bear then? The verse tells us that when we persevere to the end, we will receive a “mature and complete faith, not lacking anything.” People of the world cannot be joyful in trials so they will not be able to bear this fruit, because they cannot see the value of a faith like this. So from trials, some may grow more willpower, or build experience. But for a believer, we know that the challenges we go through in life is to refine and give us a more complete reliance on God. Why is this faith so precious? Because this is related to our prayers.

Ask God For Wisdom

When situations and people around us are always subjected to change and worldly influences, what is it that we need? We need wisdom and especially the spiritual wisdom from God, the One who “gives generously without finding fault.” But if we do not have that mature and complete faith that we talked about, we will not receive anything in prayers. Because our hearts are still dominated by different kinds of fear, anxiety, helplessness and thoughts of lack. The Lord says, if you do have faith, no matter the circumstances or conditions, we will gain the wisdom to overcome it. We will have the wisdom of discernment, of judgement, of prioritising, of speaking and most importantly, the wisdom to submit to the Lord and trust His will to be done.

One-minded And Stable Perspective
Finally, the verses ended on a more negative note, saying that those whom are “doubled minded will be unstable in all they do”. From this, we can see that God is guiding us to see the importance of having a life with a fixed perspective. Only with a fixed perspective can we see God’s promises in all things. There are many people who do not have a direction in their life. They do not know what they want. Sometimes even church, in the course of serving, we may also lose the meaning of it. In our jobs, we may find it mundane, repetitive and family life may also be such. So is it an issue of the environment we are in? That is not the case. The truth is, the Lord is already present with us. He calls us to be the salt and light of the world, to reflect the goodness of the One who brings us out of darkness and into His light. The blessings He gives are from the eternal kingdom. If what we want are not such, then we will realise that we are indeed unstable when things around us are shifting or fleeting.

Brothers and sisters, let us really take time to reflect this question, what are you looking for? What do you really want in this life? May the word of God help us restore a new set of spiritual desires to help us stand firm with an eternal perspective. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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