James 1 -- 5
Most of us do everything possible to avoid the trials of life, and are often prone to tell others about all our aches and pains, sufferings and sorrows, seeking to gain sympathy from our listeners.
But James may surprise you by saying: My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:2-4). How prone we are to blame others for our failures, or even to blame God. However, James reminds us: Blessed is the man who endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does God tempt any man (1:12-13).
To complain or find fault with circumstances in our lives is evidence of unbelief in our hearts. Many of the trials and temptations in our lives come through our own disobedience to the Lord's commands. Consequently, we reap just what we sow (Galatians 6:7). James points out that every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death (James 1:14-15).
Peter also reminds us not to consider it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you (I Peter 4:12). Peter further said: If anyone suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God (4:16). Jesus forewarned: If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you (John 15: 20). Sufferings and trials in life need not be wasted time, but can be a great refining benefit to those who remain faithful to the Lord.
Pity the poor soul who believes that the devil is giving him a hard time, and, consequently, feels frustrated and distressed. Oh, how much we need to be reminded to draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify you hearts, you double minded (James 4:8). The Lord has told us to take the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. . . . and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:16-17). All trials and assaults by Satan are under the permission of God and should prompt us to pray and trust Him for the results.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be you also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws nigh (James 5:7-8).
For James 2:8: See Lev. 19:18. James 2:11: See Ex. 20:13-14. James 2:23: See Gen. 15:6. James 4:6: See Prov. 3:34.
Government Officials: Rep. Norman Dicks (WA), Rep. Jim Gibbons (NV), and Rep. C.W. (Bill) Young (FL) · Pray for Youth With A Mission Discover Africa and Joseph Zintseme · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of Evelyn Albright · Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (42 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages · Limited religious freedom · 87% Buddhist; 5% Protestant; 4% Muslim; 3% spirit worship, Hindu, and other Asian religions; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and seek the deliverance of God (I Samuel 12:10).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I Peter 1:23