I’ve read James 1:2-3 several times before, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow,” but I never really understood what it meant until now.

Our family is under major attack—it feels like the gates of hell have opened and Satan’s minions are in full force, but even though we are going through these trying times we know that God is greater. In fact, we are now even closer to God than we were several days ago.

I believe that there is a spiritual battle taking place in our churches, and some of our loved ones have been taken captive by the enemy, “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

With the strongest conviction I have ever had, I keep shouting within my being, “GOD IS GREATER!” Those who are spiritually dead in Him can be raised from the dead— dry bones can live again. Those who have shut their eyes, ears, and heart to God can again see, hear, and know Him. No one is too far lost that he/she cannot be found by Him.

We need to pray, “It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons… to knock down the devil’s strongholds… Pray in the Spirit at all times… Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers…” (2 Cor 10:3-4, Eph 6:18).

I don’t know what you are encountering today, but know that you are not alone: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you… Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Matt 6:25, Isa 41:10, Joshua 1:9).


Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The bag without a tag

Temptation can come in many forms. The other night, my son and I went to a local thrift store because we heard they were having a “50% off” sale on fur and leather coats. I found a bag that I really wanted but it had no tag on it. I looked on the floor, hoping I would find the tag but none was found. I thought about taking a tag from one of the other bags—I looked at all the prices and found one that was $1.99. I told myself that any money the store gets would be profit since all of their merchandise was donated.

After seriously contemplating about it, I decided not to take the tag off the other bag, and then I tried to hide the bag I wanted so that no one else could get it. I was thinking that I can come back when they were having a “half-off” sale on bags—of course that didn’t solve the issue of the bag not having a tag. Once I walked away for a little bit, I decided that the best thing to do was to bring the bag to the counter and have them reprocess it so it can have a tag—my thinking was, after it was reprocessed and I see it again, then I was meant to buy it.

I went up to the counter and asked, “How much are your bags?” (I was hoping they had a set price for “ordinary” bags). He said that the price should be on the bag. I then explained that this one had no price tag. He examined it for a few seconds and said, “How about $4?” (I had noticed that most of the bags were $4). I was stunned—the policy of the store had always been that they would not sell merchandise without a tag. I replied, “That’s fine.”

What I learned from that experience is that I just need to do the right thing no matter what the situation. I should never do anything unethical, even for something as small as a used bag. Also, I learned that God will make positive things happen when you resist temptation.

Yes, I wanted the bag and even though I would have technically paid a price for it (by ripping off another bag’s tag), I should never resort to doing any “underhanded” tactics to get something (it’s a bag today but what will it be in the future?).  James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (NLT). Bottom line– “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7b).


My husband and I will be going to Disney World in a few days and we found out that the pool at the hotel is heated and has underwater speakers. Although I am very excited about spending some time in the pool, I am also very anxious because I don’t know how to swim.

My father tried to teach me how to swim when I was about 5 years old, but instead of floating on the surface of the water, I sank to the bottom. I can still remember the inability to breathe and the feeling of panic that I had.

Sometimes when I get overwhelmed I feel like I am drowning.  I know that some people might feel worried, anxious, or nervous when they go through certain situations. The Bible tells us, “…you know that we are destined for such troubles” (1 Thess 3:3), “…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Don’t let the troubles of life drown you! Realize that God is testing you—so do all you can to pass the test!

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti