hannah stowell 1

ENCOURAGEMENT

HANNAH STOWELL

James 1:2-3

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

After graduating college I decided to go on a yearlong mission trip around the world with a group of fifty other Jesus followers. While at training camp in July, I was made a team leader. At first I was flattered but then the shock set in…I had never led anyone in my life, let alone seven other people in completely foreign and dangerous lands. I was set to leave in September, so for three months I worried practically 24/7.

Not once during this time did I take the verse to heart telling me not to worry because God even watches over the birds (Matt.6:26). Or the one right after saying, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life (Matt 6:27)?” I was encountering a trial, and I was failing. Of course, once I left on the mission trip everything turned out fine. Sure, I would mess up sometimes but it was all part of the growth. I had spent all that time worrying for nothing.

Look at your own life. Are you facing a struggle, temptation, addiction, worry? How are you handling it? Think back to a time in the past when you worried a lot. That worrying accomplished nothing, right? Give your worries, struggles, whatever it may be that is overcoming your mind, to God and remember—it is going to be okay. God is with you and he will work everything out for his glory.

QUESTION 1. Are you a worrier? Has worrying ever accomplished anything for you?
QUESTION 2. Do you give your worries to God and rest in his comfort and peace?
CHALLENGE: Next time you start to worry, speak the above verses over yourself. Then, ask God for his peace and comfort and remember that he will never leave you or forsake you.