“Consider it all joy”, says James from his book in the new testament, “When you encounter various trials…”
One wonders why somebody would make that kind of statement. James goes on….. “Knowing that the testing (trying) of your faith produces endurance”. He further goes on to say,”And let endurance have its perfect (mature) result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing”.
God has a perfect plan for each one of us. All-powerful and ever loving, He allows us to move down a path of life, which He has specifically designed for you and me. The purpose of this path is to allow us to become more like Him, more mature in our walk with Him and gain more peace in our situations as His wisdom begins to unfold in our lives.
We really need to believe this and trust our Father daily, no matter what we encounter. Paul tells us, “Everything happens for the good of those who love the Lord”. There are circumstances in our lives right now, which would beg to differ from this statement, but we need to… “Live by faith, not by sight…” and trust God for what is happening presently.
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life…” .
There are many distractions in our daily life that would love to pull us away from the plan that the Father has for each of us. The enemy will use any means to get our attention away from God, for one second or for a couple of hours.
We need to keep seeking God to help us continue on His perfect plan for us. If we do that, He will guard us. If we try to protect ourselves from the situations He has allowed, we may remove ourselves from the very work that He is doing in us, to make us more like Him.
How does it happen that we get side tracked from this plan?
The book of James shows us very practically how we are enticed away from God….
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” .
Clearly then, the beginning of the ‘wayward’ path is a thought, planted into our minds, not by God, but by the accuser.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”
As we entertain the thought, the sinful nature within us moves into action and much like a fish, desires to take the bait. Similar to watering a seed – the more water, the bigger the plant grows. The more we dwell on a thought, the bigger it gets. Many times we have imagined something has happened when actually, nothing of the sort occurred!
“Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
At this point, we have a choice: continue to entertain the thought and fall into sin… or stop it in its tracks by handing it over to the Lord and asking Him to “fill our heads with thoughts of Him.”
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
In the above example, we have seen the truth of how the enemy works. Let us not be fooled any longer. Once we have been exposed to the truth, we have wisdom. James encourages us to ask God for wisdom. Therefore, let us wisely ask God to help us in these circumstances. Persevere through them, rather than trying to stop them occurring. Remember – even though we may not believe it, God is allowing it for the end goal of making us more mature in Him.
As we walk daily on ‘the narrow road’ we will seemingly fail in terms of pleasing God. But, we are BEING made mature every day. As we fail, let the Holy Spirit within us, point out our shortcomings. Let us be genuinely sorry for wrongs we’ve committed. As we do so, God forgives us and we can get up, dust ourselves off and continue our journey having learned something in the process.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” James 1:22
From: “..time with the Master…”
“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
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