Trials and Patience: James 1:1-8

by frazzledmama on September 30, 2011

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1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
Greetings. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We already learned from our first peak into James, the background information about this book, so I won’t delve into that again. Let’s start today by looking at verses 2-8.

The first thing we can learn from James is that trails will come!  I have a feeling that we have a tendency to gloss over this concept.  In verse 2, James doesn’t say if you fall into trials, he says when.  It would seem that modern day Christians have bought into the notion that our lives will be smooth sailing once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  We can see that this notion is not Biblical, not only from this passage in James, but from others as well.

1 Peter 5:10

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world.”

Romans 5:1-4
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;

1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Clearly, as Christians, we should expect trials to come our way!  However, these trials are not to aggravate us, they are to aid us in becoming more like Christ. The trials we go through will produce patience…eventually;)  I can see this principle at work in my own life.  Just yesterday we were hit again with more challenges regarding the fees for Sugar Belle’s next surgery.  However, I was not completely stressed out like I would have been in the past.  The Lord has been faithful to care for us, and I know that this will all be taken care of in His time.  I am learning patience with my God.  Not in the sense that He is  wrong, or  but in the sense that I must not allow my desires to rush His will.

How faithful He is to us!  During these trials we are going to need HUGE amounts of wisdom.  James tells us that all we need to do is ask, in faith, and God will give us wisdom, liberally!  It is crucial however, that we ask in faith, with NO doubting.  That can be SO hard!  Thankfully, we can see in scripture where others have struggled in this area, and what we need to do about it.

Mark 9:23-24
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Can you relate to this father?  I know I can! I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for this passage.  Many times over the last year, I have cried out to the Lord to “help my unbelief!”  Belief is a choice we make, not an emotion we feel.  I choose to believe that the Lord is going to handle this new set of bills.  Sometimes, I go back and remind myself of all the wondrous things He has done on my behalf.  It bolsters my faith.  When doubt come crashing like waves over me, I cry out to Him. I tell the Father, “I trust you!” Yesterday, I stood in my schoolroom and sang “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”  I know, now you think I’m crazy, and I’m okay with that :)

What trials are you facing?  How are you intentionally choosing to believe God for wisdom through your trial?

 

I would love to hear about it!

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