(NRS James 5:13) "Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise."

People express themselves in different ways. In the many TV commercials we are subjected to, we see most of the people reacting to music by hunching, bumping and grinding. I think they call it "the beat." But to me it answers the question of "who are you?" or "what are you?" And that type response indicates animal of some sort.

James says that our response should be different from this. We are in one of two categories -- suffering or afflicted or else we are cheerful or merry. If we are of the former, then we pray; the latter, we sing praises. Well, this morning I am some of both: suffering because I have lost a dear friend--Leon Odom. So, I pray. Not for Leon but for myself and his loved ones with whom I am sharing a broken heart. Leon loved songs and singing and I sing a song of praise in remembrance of him as I write these words=="I Won't Have To Cross Jordan Alone." I believe that the writer of this song had Israel in mind as they stood on the East Bank of Jordan and waited for God through Joshua to lead them into the promised rest. Well, faithful people have a rest awaiting them also on the other side of their Jordan. And he will be there to guide us over the river into the land of escape from the cares and sufferings of this world. David said, "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR THOU ART WITH ME." Leon crossed Jordan and, I am fully persuaded, entered into the promised rest. All of us can have that assurance if we follow the guide, Jesus, through his Holy Word. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

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