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Mar 11, 2018

042 - The Testing of Your Faith Produces Endurance - A Guided Christian Meditation Podcast
James 1:2-4

I work as a Hospice Chaplain and having worked as an ICU chaplain in a busy hospital, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open to be changed by the Spirit of God by using a centuries old form of Christian Meditation called Lectio Divina. It consists of:
Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation, Visualization

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Consider for a moment all the work your body had done this week. What stresses have your born? What has your body done without being asked: breathing, heart beating, blood pumping, sitting, walking, moving, working, feeling. Your body replicated cells and fought infection. What a blessing it is that we have such a body.
A low it to breath now. Allow a feeling a gratitude build for God about all that your body can do. With each breath you realize more the greatness of God's creation that is your body. Despite the aspects of our mortal frame that cause us suffering and sin there are also amazing aspects that glorify the God who created it. Breath slowly and allow this moment to be a time apart. Breath ever so softly but fully as you feel your mind show and your body rest. You feel relaxation building in your body and you feel grateful for it. Allow your mind to clear as you prepare to receive God's word. We will be reading from James 1:2-4
Bible verse for meditation:

2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance;
4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing

Notice the similarities and differences in the translations presented.


What does this scripture mean to you?
Has it had a different effect this reading as compared to times past?
How does this scripture make you feel?

Continue breathing deeply as you ponder this meaning.

Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:
Our human weakness can be distressing. As we learn about our fallen nature it can be discouraging at times. We realize how we sin so easily, Ann's at times are slow to recognize God's hand in our lives. Wee feel trials and temptations as further evidence of our worth. This scripture is profound. Paul teaches that temptations or trials can be a source of joy. The range of these translations is useful. What is the difference between a trial and a temptation. Are they different? It could be argued the greatest trial is our own sin that results from our temptation. Yet even this can bring joy. How?
It certainly Glorifies God when we have our sins washed away and are left redeemed. Paul teaches that there is a benefit to our character. God continually works to teach his children. Unfortunately trials teach us profound lessons. They teach us patience that is said to lead to our improvement. The Glory of God’s mercy can yield patience in our hearts.

Meditation of Prayer:
Pray as directed by the Spirit.
Pray now with an attitude of patience.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:
I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:
This part is very important. It is no accident that scripture is so full of narratives. Our minds connect with narratives. Imagine a visualization of a Narrative of your life knowing the truths from this scripture.
Now visualize someone or a group of people who need this message. Imagine what their face would look like as they receive this scripture in their hearts. Imagine how you can share it with them.
Homework: what trials have you noticed bring blessings?

Continuation of James 1 next week.


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Final thought