We have everything we need in order to finish well, but we need to choose to do so. We need to stay firmly planted in God’s word, in His house, and in His family. As followers of Jesus, we can run the race of life with our eyes fixed on Jesus until the very end. Our story doesn’t have to end like Solomon’s. It may be hard to stay on course, to stay obedient, to finish well, but it is more than possible with God’s help.
When faced with pain and suffering it’s natural to ask what the purpose of it all is. Paul tells us that we can be absolutely sure that God is working in our lives through it: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Have you ever wondered why we call our weekend gatherings at church a service? If you are new to church or Christianity, this may seem like an odd description of the time where we stand and sing, and then sit and listen to a sermon. Many churches are moving away from using the term service and replacing it for more palatable terms like the “church experience,” or “gathering.”
There will be moments in all our lives that demand courage. We will all face situations that are larger than our experience or ability. The great news is that we don’t have to walk through these situations in our own strength, as believers, we have the power of God in us. The Bible is filled with stories of ordinary men and woman that reveal how we too can be courageous.
I’ve got to be honest, this passage never really filled me with much joy or hope… I mean James paints a pretty bleak picture of how incapable we humans are at controlling such an unruly part of us. Reading this as a teenager hit pretty hard. Teenagers already have a hard enough time believing they’re good enough at doing stuff, here was another thing to add to the list. How many times did I crack a joke trying to fit in that really ended up being unkind? Why did I say that? It was frustrating to reflect on at the time, and then James went on to describe the tongue as a relentless evil full of deadly poison. Yikes. Was there any hope for any of us, I wondered?