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Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you  may be mature and complete not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts  is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything  from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8 (NIV)

As lawyers, we sometimes need simple practical advice on coping with difficult times. I know that Sam Ericsson enjoyed acronyms. Please consider the following:

T – Thank, test and trust

Thank the Lord for entrusting us to work in such a noble and wonderful profession.

Test the assumptions under which we practice.

Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding.

R – Remember and repent

Remember our first love for the Lord and the many times He has got us through difficult problems before.

Repent—We need to search our hearts for hidden and presumptuous sins. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Phil 4:4.

I – Investigate and inquire

Investigate—Find out what the options are.

Inquire—Ask the Lord what is happening and what is His will and timing in a situation.

A – Acknowledge and ask

Acknowledge the Lord in all of our ways and He shall direct our paths. Let us defer to Him in all that we do, great and small.

Asking is one part of prayer. What would the Lord have us do in our unique circumstances, not once but as we go along each day?

L – Listen, labour, laugh and love

Listen—Prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue between two persons who love each other, God and us.

Labour—Rule 110 from George Washington’s little book on manners says “labour to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.” One of the things that would help is if we really understood grace, God’s unconditional personal love for lawyers. We need grace as much as anyone, some would say more. If we really understood His grace, we would begin from a position of rest and peace and love and security and we would then go and do the works he has pre-prepared for us.

Laugh—As lawyers we sometimes take ourselves too seriously.

S – Seek, see, share, submit, stand

Seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.

See work as an entrustment and do all things as unto the Lord and not as unto men.

Share your struggles and dilemmas and pray and encourage one another.

Submit—We are told to submit to God, resist the devil and he shall flee.

Stand—Sometimes when we have done all that we can, we are just asked to stand.

Mark Mudri

– This article comes from AI’s “No Higher Calling,” a devotional for lawyers.