“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:13-14).
Pollyanna Christianity is not found in Scripture. Neither is emotional hedonism. Like the blessings of sunshine and rain (Matthew 5:45), the storms of life come upon all (Matthew 7:24-27). No one—including God’s people—is exempt from times of suffering, gladness, and sickness.
James’ words contain no hint of mystery. Rather, his words are clear counsel as to how to respond to life’s certainties.
In times of suffering or difficulty: Don’t groan, complain, or wallow in self-pity. PRAY to God.
In times of cheerfulness and gladness: Don’t be morose, ungrateful, or wear yourself out engaging in self-congratulation. PRAISE God.
In times of infirmity and sickness: Don’t isolate yourself from potential sources of spiritual blessing. Summon others and SEEK their intercessory prayer.