Our passage of the day begins by contradicting human thinking. It tells us to have joy at the most inconvenient times and reminds us to ask for wisdom.
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- Our passage of the day talks about meeting trials of various kinds – with joy
- Perhaps they will be trials of conscience
- Trials of health
- Trials of relationship
- Trials of temptation
- Trials of stress – or any other kind of trials
- How will we meet them?
- And when we do
- Perhaps finding, in them, that we lack wisdom
- Will we look to God?
- Will we ask Him for help?
- Diverse temptations and lacking wisdom from James 1:2-8 today…
- We arrive at a passage today that begins by contradicting human thinking
- It tells us to have joy at the most inconvenient times
- Describes how useful the trying times can be
- Reminds us we are not sufficient on our own (as we need God’s wisdom)
- And warns us against double-mindedness
- James, speaking to Jewish believers says…
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
- Other translations say it this way:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,”
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
- Or even…
“My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy.”
- Why count it “all joy” when you face trials?
- The next verse will help
- It describes what these kinds of trial can do in our lives…
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
- Apparently, these are the kind of temptations that try our faith
- And faith-testing is useful in the development of character
- Specifically, in developing steadfastness
- This is a patience that can also be described as constancy and endurance
- The kind that is eminently useful for the various trials of the future
- As they will also surely come
- This working of patience is sufficient to make one joyful!
- As we see that God is doing something in us that is beneficial
- That will help us to cope
- That will strengthen us
- That will cause us to rely, not on ourselves, but on Him
- And as this steadfastness is developed, it makes us mature in Him…
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
- These trials, as they cause us to rely on Him, do a work
- They help to perfect and complete the Christian
- To bring us to a point where we lack nothing (in regard to facing the trials)
- But we may find ourselves insufficient in knowing what to do next…
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
- These times of trial are precisely the times when we need wisdom
- We need to know God’s mind
- To understand His leading
- To be dependent
- Realizing our own minds are limited, but He is not
- This is why we ask
- Knowing God’s word promises that He delivers without holding back
- Being relieved that He will not reproach us or find fault in us for asking
- We should not ask doubting…
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
- No trial we will ever face is too great for Him
- This should cause us to have faith
- He knew it was coming
- He is in control of every detail
- He always has our best interest at heart
- He is allowing this for our good
- And He knows what we should do next
- To waver is to have some level of doubt about one or more of these things – or others
- To question the liberality of His wisdom-giving
- To question if He is even there
- We don’t want to be like a boat on rough seas
- Being ever tossed to and fro
- We need the stability and the solidity only He provides
- And we can expect nothing from Him if we doubt
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
- In times of trial, God provides a solid foundation
- He provides wisdom
- He is not stingy
- There is no reason for doubt
- What variety of trial are we facing today?
- Are we finding joy within it?
- Is it useful in growing our steadfastness?
- Does God have the wisdom – and will He provide it to us, so we can cope?
- Might we waver in any of this?
- I suppose we wouldn’t need this passage if we all handled these things perfectly
- The reality is, He is sufficient in all temptations
- And He freely provides wisdom
- His children must not doubt or be double minded
- But rather – be joyful