Yesterday I was reading in James and I came across this verse.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  James 3:5b  I thought that I would post my thoughts on it.  I’m not trying to preach a sermon, but if you know me, you know I like sharing what I am learning. 



  • The word matter in that verse means wood.  It only takes a little spark or flame to set a large amount of wood on fire.  In the same way we may speak something that we believe to be of little consequence.  Yet, without warning it spreads through a great amount of people causing great pain and destruction.

This verse gives me a very vivid mental picture.


I see myself standing before this great forest fire.  It started out small, but it grew so fast that there wasn’t time to stop it.  I stand there in utter despair, sobbing, completely and utterly helpless.  At this point only God can quench the fire.  Even so, when the fire is out, and there are only blackened remains, I can only weep.  The feeling is that nothing can be the same.  I have no hope for normality.  There is even anger; anger that any of this even had to happen.  Yet, as I watch, God’s hand is once again evident.  Before my eyes, tender, green plants spring up out of the blackened soil.   The flowers begin to bloom.  God has given beauty for ashes; the oil of joy for mourning.  (Isaiah 61:3)  Things will never be the same, but the beauty that comes out of it overshadows the pain, if we but let it comfort our souls.


There are times in our life that hurtful words have been spoken and it becomes a huge ordeal.  Many people get hurt and our relationship with the offending party becomes nearly severed.  We are hurt and angry over the situation.  Nothing good can seem to come of it.  Then, as our hearts seek God and our eyes are open to what He is doing, something beautiful begins to emerge.  Every trial that we face has the potential to grow us in the image of the Son.  We shouldn’t get bitter about the offense; we should let God turn it into something beautiful.  We should forgive those who hurt us and then show them love.  Only then will we be able to see the situation for what it is: an opportunity to grow.


I would like to leave you with these verses: Romans 12:9-21.  Isn’t God’s Word wonderful?!?

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7 Responses to

  1. Ok I did not read all that! but… I’m leaving a comment so i can dig my self out of the hole i just dug!!! lol! thanks for being a GREAT FRIEND MANDY!!!!

  2. Viz3 says:

    Good verses… sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat more whilst I was back. We’ll get a chance before you promise to yourself that you’ll never speak to me again…

  3. Viz3 says:

    I really have started a fad!

  4. thejbub says:

    What an adorable picture!!!!!!!! I love it!

  5. Hutch5 says:

    Good words of encouragement. Aren’t you thankful that God gives us “beauty for ashes.” And I’m with ya on the snow… I love it! (Although summertime is my favorite!)  

  6. NYVogue says:

    Love the pic – this new house looks so cozy!

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