14 day plan

Fatherhood

Day 1 of 14

James 1:2-5

Faith and Wisdom

2 My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.

Reflection:  Fatherhood is full of trials and it can test men physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. It can test men in ways our careers, our friendships and our hobbies often do not. But the Bible author James says that testing produces perseverance. Perseverance is one of the key
foundations of fatherhood. It’s easy for us as Dad’s to quit, retreat or shut down when it comes to our children. But no matter how we feel, no matter the pressures of our work and our marriage or no matter how often our internal voice tells us to keep working in the shed or to sit on the couch and watch the footy, we must prioritize and persevere with our kids. James goes on to say that if we need wisdom, we should ask God and he gives it to us without a second thought. The journey of fatherhood for the Christian includes seeking God’s wisdom.

I know that not everyone reading this series will be a father themselves. But you’ll have fathers that you know: your own father, the father of your children, fathers of people you care deeply about. And of course, we all share our heavenly Father. One of the many
descriptions of God in the Bible is that of a father, and the Bible repeatedly refers to the Father’s love for us which has no bounds. Some have experienced glimpses of his love through an earthly father while others have experienced pain, abandonment and confusion. This series will unpack words from James and Moses to encourage Fathers and father figures to tap into God’s unconditional love for those around us.

Questions: Are you a father? Where is your fatherhood being tested the most?  Where can you seek God’s wisdom to strengthen your journey of fatherhood, or help to strengthen that journey for someone else?

Prayer: Lord, grant myself (or the fathers in my life) wisdom for the journey of fatherhood. May you ease
the pressure that trials often bring and may the trials of being a parent draw us closer to you. Help those who aren’t yet parents or in different life stages seek ways of encouraging their friends and family who are deep in parenting mode by pointing them to you.

James 1:1-27

1 From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Greetings to all God's people scattered over the whole world.

Faith and Wisdom

2 My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 6But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. 7-8If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.

Poverty and Riches

9Those Christians who are poor must be glad when God lifts them up, 10 and the rich Christians must be glad when God brings them down. For the rich will pass away like the flower of a wild plant. 11The sun rises with its blazing heat and burns the plant; its flower falls off, and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way the rich will be destroyed while they go about their business.

Testing and Tempting

12Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 If we are tempted by such trials, we must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. 15Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16Do not be deceived, my dear friends! 17Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning. 18By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures.

Hearing and Doing

19 Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. 20Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose. 21So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.

22Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. 23If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. 24They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. 25But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

26Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself. 27What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.