I AM the Sovereign God of daily life James 1:1-18

A message every believer needs to know

You have heard the expression, “If it doesn’t kill us it just makes us stronger.”  The

You can't have victory without a battle.

You can’t have victory without a battle.

Marines say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”  Pretty tough words; however, God elevates it into the realm of the supernatural by saying, “Count it pure joy”, “In all things Give Thanks for this is God’s will…”  Don’t think that he is saying give thanks because “it could have been worse”, or to thank God for some related consequence of the hardship.  No we are to have joy and thanks for the hardship itself.  Heb 12 admits that they are not pleasant but will mature us if we will be trained by it.  Can’t we trust God in our dire circumstance that He knows what he is doing and that he picked us to endure it for our benefit?

Trials and Temptations

James 1:2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  5 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. 6 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. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Who are you Lord?

I AM the perfector of your faith.  I mature you by the hardships that you face; no hardships – no maturing.  I make you obedient sons and daughters through them because this life is too short to squander.  I AM the God who gives the crown of life to those who endure with faith and joy to the end. 

I AM the Father of heavenly lights who allows these trials for your benefit so that you can receive reward for eternity.  Where is your perspective?  I AM the great equalizer of men; your money won’t help you.  Rejoice rather in your relationship with me which will last for eternity.  I AM Holy and cannot do wrong by you.  It may seem to you that because I AM sovereign that I cause everything to happen, No it is against my nature to do evil.  However, as The Sovereign God of the universe, I see the plight of all men in their sinful state, and their pains caused by the evil one, and use his oppression to mold in you my supernatural character for which you will be rewarded. 

I AM the God who sees all and is with you in your trouble, not just to see you through it, but to give you joy in the midst of itI AM the God who matures my children which is the job of every good parent.  I love you too much to leave you as infants.  I AM the All knowing God who gives wisdom to men through my Word and Spirit.  I created knowledge and information and will give it to whoever wants it.  But it can’t do you any good if you leave my Wisdom (the Bible) on the shelf and never open it.  Without knowing my Word, you can never understand why you must endure hardships so that you can have my joy in them and because of them. 

The world is a hard enough place as it is

Not to mention the presence of the devil and the limitations of our flesh.  God is not out there to create hardships and temptations to see if we will sin.  No, Satan is out there doing that to make us choose to disobey God.  Satan provides the opportunity for us to turn our backs on God.  God doesn’t have to “make life hard on you” thus he admits, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time.”  But he also says, “Count it all joy.”  “In all things give thanks for this is God’s will concerning you.”  These are the words of God regarding anything that you are going through which you don’t like.  It doesn’t say you have to understand it.  This is the toughest lesson we independent humans need to learn from God.   To complain is to judge God in his handling of our circumstances.  In essence, by complaining we are saying that we could have done better ourselves.  Faith on the other hand says “Thank you God for this hardship, because I know from your word that you will mature me as your adult child in Christ because of the hardship, and that my trust is pleasing to you, and one day my faith will be rewarded.”

We cannot blame God

As we fail, we bear the full responsibility of our choices both in this life and the life to come.  We cannot blame God for our circumstances.  Because this passage says that “God cannot tempt anyone with evil.” We live in the consequences of our forefather’s decisions as to our society, we live with the consequences of the choices we made in the past, and we must live each day making choices that will affect our future as well as the future of our kids.  Thus we must ask God for wisdom to live according with the promises and truth of his word in unity with his Spirit.  We must live for the Lord and not for riches, because the love of money is the root to all evil.  More marriages are destroyed because of how they handle finances.  Greed and covetousness for the things this world has to offer leads us to break all the commandments of God.  Maybe that is why he made that one the 10th commandment (don’t covet) in order to sum up how to avoid the pitfalls of all the rest of them.

This life is to be a miraculous life

As you walk with God, whether you have money or not, only God can give you his supernatural power to see hardships through his eyes.  The things that God wants to do, you can’t just throw money at.  He is above that.  Rejoice that Christ and our position in him is the great equalizer of men.

The beautiful thing about God is that:

  • He lives his life through us,
  • He empowers us in our serving him,
  • He is the one who molds us into Christ’s image through these trials,
  • He is the one who gives us victory
  • and He is the one who will reward us in heaven because of how we handle our hardships.

As mentioned above, life is naturally hard, and we have an enemy who wants to see us throw our fists in God’s face like he originally did.  How will we respond to the influences of the world that affect our happiness, with joy, or complaint?

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
This entry was posted in The book of James, Who are you Lord? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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