Why me? – 1/29/17

“Blessed be God’s voice for it is true, and falsehoods have to cease before it!
-Thomas Carlyle
 
James, the brother of Jesus, is believed to be the author of the New Testament book of James. He encourages his readers to demonstrate the validity of their experience with Christ by doing what Christians are suppose to do – live godly. Chapter one of James deals with trials and temptation and how a believer is to respond. The writer assures us that God can and will do a work in us during these times that will make us stronger and mature in Him. If, however, we do not respond properly to temptation and trials, we can “give birth” to sin in our lives. The remainder of the chapter encourages self-examination so that we are not deceived into believing we are something that we aren’t. Finally, James strongly implies that believers live and “do” the Word, not just hear the Word with no change in our lives.
 
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produced patience.”
– James 1:2-3
 
James 1:1-27
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 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. 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. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
 
I will “Count it all joy” (remain calm in delight) when trials come my way. I know God will show me how to remain faithful and I will be approved (v.12). I will develop in maturity and my faith will increase during times of trial. I will do what God’s Word says, not just read it. I will examine my own heart and I will not be deceived by the enemy.

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