Last Wednesday on Write Thinking, I announced my goal of memorizing the Book of James over the summer and invited readers to join me. (I chose James for a number of reasons, as explained in that previous post.) Let me issue the same invitation to my friends on Writes of Passage.
I also made the decision to use The Voice Bible translation for this endeavor, a new favorite translation of mine. You can learn more about TVB here. (No, it is not a paraphrase. It's a dynamic equivalent translation, as are the NIV and the NLT, for example.)
On Saturday morning, I began by reading chapter one of James and then I concentrated on the opening two paragraphs. Here's how the second paragraph reads (verses 2-5, emphasis mine):
|An ancient wine press|
Don't run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line––mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don't have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.Wow! Don't you love the way that reads? I do.
Having finished reading through those verses a few times, I opened my Streams in the Desert, and this was part of the daily reading (emphasis mine):
Wow again! It felt like that paragraph was written to go with my James verses. Doesn't it?
When we embrace the trials of life with thanksgiving and praise, it changes us. We become mature and complete and wanting in nothing.