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About-Him.Com Devotional 10-15-2011

Be Joyful, In Spite of Our Trials

The main subject of today’s devotional is temptation. The context  of James 1:2 compared to that of James 1:13 shows us that James is speaking of two aspects of temptation, even though the same Greek word peirasmos (Strong’s #3986 ) which has multiple shades of meaning is used in both verses. As I see it, verse 2 speaks of the everyday trials of our physical and spiritual life and verse 13 speaks of being tempted to sin against God.  

Text: James 1:2 ¶  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  

What?  I am being told to be joyful when everything around me is going wrong? Yes, that is exactly what the text is saying. Why? I thought that being a Christian was all peace and prosperity? The apostle Peter thought otherwise.  

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:  

A few years back, I woke up one morning with shingles from my hip bone to my knee, which affected the nerves in my leg. After a year, the shingles cleared up, but the leg is still affected. Just a reminder that my faith was being put to the test.  

The fact is, none of us knows what is coming tomorrow. It may be something much more serious than a case of shingles. Folks are being tested by how they react to our depressed economy. Yesterday’s good job is gone. The IRA and 401K accounts have been depleted and exhausted, retirement prospects have vanished. Do we blame God? And of course there are those suffering persecution because of their faith, which is something most of us have never experienced.  

I spent a week in Haiti in 1990 and came home very depressed, because of the widespread hunger and disease. After the recent earthquake, the Haitians probably look back on that as the good times. I’m told by my friend, David Penrod, that Chorea is now becoming widespread. Just recently, two folks died of it during a church service. Bro. Penrod who oversees three churches there will be  returning there next week. He has asked for our prayers. I’ve always said that all of the saints should spend a week in Haiti. It’s good for the perspective.  

Many things that try us are simply Life 101. Ecclesiasstes 9:11 tells us that time and chance happens to us all. Jesus said in Matthew 5:45 that our Father sends rain on the just and the unjust. Other trials can be sent directly from God to prove our faith. God wants to know haw we will reacts under pressure. Will we still praise Him in the bad times like we did when things were going well? We simply don’t know what is coming tomorrow, but the just  live from faith unto faith, one day at a time (Ro.1:17).  
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  

When adversity strikes, it’s easy to withdraw into a shell and become self centered. We must, regardless of circumstances, keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.  

Ask the Savior to help you, Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through. 

Yield Not to Temptation Horatio Palmer 1868  

Text: James 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

When we think of patience in tribulation, we naturally think of Job. His pompous friends were full of advice and his wife wanted him to curse God and die. Job thought differently.  

Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.  

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.  

Job 19:25 For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:

After Job was tried and proven, he was restored to greater riches than before. Hebrews 3:14 speaks the same thing to us.  

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  

Romans 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Text: James 1:5  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.  

Wisdom is simply the application of knowledge. We can’t be wise in God’s word, if we don’t know what it says. Therefore we study to show ourselves approved to God (2 Ti. 2:15). When we see that we don’t have proper wisdom in the understanding and application of God’s word, we appeal to Him for the spiritual wisdom that rested on Jesus.  

Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:  

Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Spirit.  

1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  

Jesus promised us wisdom that the world could not overcome.  

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.  

When we ask for wisdom, we must ask in faith.  

Text: James 1: 6  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.
7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Asking in faith while doubting would be an oxymoron (a big word that James and most of us have never heard of), simply two things totally opposed to each other. We are also required to ask according to the will of God (Lu. 11:2) and in agreement with others. (Mt. 18:19) Most  of all, we must ask in the name of Jesus (Jn. 14:13; Col. 3:17).  

Text: James 1: 9  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.

We are all equal in the sight of God. Our time on earth is short, but eternity is close at hand. It won’t matter if we are a have or a have not when we all  appear at the judgment seat of Christ to answer for the deeds of our flesh, whether good or bad (2 Co. 5:10; Ro. 14:10).  

Text: James 1: 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.  

Our goal is to hear Jesus say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Mt. 25:21).  

At that day, we will be joined by saints from all the ages, from the Old Testaments saints who  were stoned, sawn asunder, were tempted, and slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted and tormented…. (He 11:37), and the tribulation saints who washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb ( Re. 7:14).  

That helps put thing in perspective, doesn’t it?  

Hebrews 12:4 ¶ Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Somebody Has Said
For as men in battle are continually in the way of shot, so we, in this world, are ever within the reach of temptation. - William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude    

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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