Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are you interested in this reward?

As we see in this next verse; the Holy Spirit teaches us all things:

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

I don't think there is any doubt that He teaches and reveals things to us as we are ready; however, I don't think that any and every bit of wisdom is what James is talking about in verse 5:

James 1:5 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.

I could be wrong about that, but I when I was reading yesterday, it came to me that verse 5 is sandwiched in between verses that are talking about trials and temptations:

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

How many times have all of us been through trials of various kinds and we feel bitter, confused and helpless. How many times have we wondered (or even screamed and yelled); “what is going on!” I think this is what James is talking about. When we are facing trials we (believers) need to seek God first. Not from a stance of hostility, “what is going on!”; but instead, from a stance of, “Lord, I am not sure how you are most glorified in my current situation, but You know. Please Lord, give me the wisdom to understand it and the strength to get through it.”

Then James immediately (almost like he didn't want to waste anytime allowing for confusion) tells us the “posture” in which we must pray:

James 1:5-8 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. 7 For 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.

James then goes on to point out, whether you are rich or poor is of no consequence when it comes to trials. When we belong to Christ trials will come to all:

James 1:9-11 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.

Whether we are rich or poor, have plenty or lack; when trials come, along with it comes temptation. Along with it comes the lusts of this world and the lure of the enemy. The question then becomes, are you going to glorify God in the face of your trials, or are you going to fall prey to the temptations. That is not a question that should be handled flippantly; after all, if it was of no real consequence why would God offer such a lofty reward for all those who endure?

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

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