In the Ups and Downs

James 5:13
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.  Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

There is always something to talk to God about.  In good times and bad, we need to keep an open dialogue with our Father and keep our minds focused on Him.  And we should acknowledge Him in every circumstance that we face.  Too often it seems that the highs and the lows can pull our attention away from God either onto ourselves or to those around us.  But it is important to maintain this essential and most important relationship.

The cure for our afflictions is to bring them before the Lord, to entreat Him for whatever it is that has overtaken us, to tell Him of our need, to seek His face in the midst of trouble, and to look to Him for help, comfort, wisdom, answers, and maybe even a miracle.  There is no better place to bring our afflictions than to the feet of our Lord, one so well-acquainted with pain and suffering Himself.  His listening ear is ready to receive our cries, and then His mercy is there to minister to us in our need.

Likewise, when things are going well, we can’t forget about God.  It is true that struggles often keep us near to God when our desperate need is realized.  But in those joyful moments, let us also direct our attention to God and acknowledge Him, praise Him, thank Him, and spend some time in that sweet kind of fellowship that can only come when our hearts are unburdened.  And with our minds focused on Him, we remember that He is the source of our blessings and the goodness in our lives and those things that cause us to rejoice.  He is the source of our merry heart that produces those songs we direct toward Him.

Our relationship with God is to be one of constant connection.  And He’s available anytime we need to talk.  He receives our prayers of agony just the same as our praise, because they both come from our hearts.  May we seek God continually in the ups and downs of life.  May we draw upon the comfort He offers to us.  And may we give Him much glory for all the many ways that He works in our lives.

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