12162007

James 1

In Today's Reading:

Christians to rejoice in trials; heeding the Word of God; faith that works; dangers of the tongue; worldliness and pride; warning to the rich; power of prayer

Some of us are inclined to tell others about all our sufferings and sorrows with a "woe is me" attitude of despair in order to seek sympathy from our listeners. Others are prone to blame anyone, even God, for their problems. James may surprise you because he wrote: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (manifold trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (develops) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing (James 1:2-4).

Furthermore, James reminds us: Blessed is the man that endureth temptation (remains faithful): for when he is tried (approved), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with (by) evil, neither tempteth He any man (1:12-13). Trials in life may seem to be undesirable and a waste of time, but they are a great benefit to those who remain teachable and faithful. The fact is the trial of your faith, being (is) much more precious than of gold (I Peter 1:7).

All of us need to be reminded to draw nigh (near) to God, and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:8). Pity the poor soul who believes that it is only the Devil who is giving him a hard time and, consequently, feels frustrated and distressed. All trials and assaults by Satan can only happen with the permission of God and should prompt us to praise the Lord, for knowing that our faith worketh (develops) patience, we don't need to fear what may happen.

As Christians, we possess the whole armour of God so that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes, trickery) of the Devil (Ephesians 6:11). To withstand the Devil during our trials, we must remember Paul's words of encouragement to the Ephesians: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. . . . and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (6:16-17). However, for it to be effective we must put on the whole armour of God. . . . praying always (Ephesians 6:11,18).

Cross References:

For James 2:8: See Leviticus 19:18. James 2:11: See Exodus 20:13-14. James 2:23: See Genesis 15:6. James 4:6: See Proverbs 3:34.

Word Studies:

1:27 visit =b> care for, look after the needs of; 2:11 kill =b> murder; 3:2 we offend all =b> we make mistakes and offend others; 3:4 listeth =b> chooses, desires; 5:3 cankered =b> rusted, corroded; 5:11 pitiful =b> full of compassion.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Don Carcieri (RI), Rep. Norman Dicks (WA), Gov. Jim Gibbons (NV), and Rep. C.W. Young (FL) • Country: Tanzania (31.3 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: Swahili and English • Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy • 45% Christian; 19% Muslim; .4% Baha'i; .1% Hindu; 35.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Recognize the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness and praise Him (Psalm 100:4-5).

Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 13:20