Re:Verse passage – James 1:1-12 (day three)

“Consider it all joy…”

Somewhere, there’s a list of irritating, irrelevant, and insulting platitudes entitled “Things to Say When You Just Don’t Want to Hear People’s Problems.” James’s statement would certainly make the list. So would Jesus’s “Do not worry about tomorrow.” And how about Paul’s “All things work together for good…?” What makes them irritating, irrelevant, and insulting is not the reality they reveal, but the way they’re often used: as a happy-talk escape hatch to avoid entering into people’s suffering. The Bible’s not trying to get anybody to look on the bright side, though. Instead, it’s declaring that hope and purpose fill the universe instead of determinism and indifference. At the center of the cosmos is a person, not an algorithm. And it’s that person – the Lord – who turns attentively to your cries of pain.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Pastoral Ministries at FBCSA.

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