I am in the middle of going through the new James study by Beth Moore, called Mercy Triumphs. Trust me when I say, that the timing of this bible study could not have been more God-ordained in my life.
Had I done this study a few years, or even a few months ago, I am not sure whether it would have had the same impact on my heart as it has right now. I don’t know why I always act so stunned when I see God’s perfect timing woven through our lives, but isn’t it wonderful?!
I shared with you earlier this week that myself and my family have experienced some hardships within the past year, and as a result, I have felt an oppression on the inside, portraying itself in discouragement on the outside. But God chose this new bible study to be one of the many tools He would use to dig deep into the pieces of my soul – not only where I needed healing, but where I needed hope.
A few weeks ago, Beth’s session was focused on John 16:20-24 (in addition to the teaching on James about “consider it great joy… whenever we experience various trials”). I’ve never liked that verse, have you? I doubt it….. yet the older I get, the more I understand the truth in it.
John 16:20-24 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (NIV)
Do you see a few repetitive words here? Such as “anguish” and “joy”. Two words in stark contrast to each other, but which are actually intertwined simultaneously throughout our lives.
Beth said so many life changing truths during this message, that I could scarcely write them all down fast enough. The way she words her statements, dripping with eloquence and spiritual depth, never ceases to astound me. But there was one absolute truth in this particular teaching that caused a well of hope to spring up from somewhere deep within me: