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Discovery in James

June 22, 2007

Working through James 1 for Bible Study actually taught me something I just plain didn’t know before. Not that that should surprise me, but quite frankly, it did. I thought I had James 1 nailed!Ok, the obvious, we are told to have pure joy when we meet temptations (meet isn’t search out and find, but when it finds us, like the robbers who found the man traveling, and left him in the road for dead). Here’s the question… HOW?!?!

Well, verses 2 – 4 tell us that we can be joyful because at the end of the trial there is a benefit – completion, maturity, perfection. If we have the right view, if we keep things in perspective, if we live with real integrity (the idea of a one track mind), we can be joyful through the trials, because we know what’s at the end.

Fine and good, and a great spiritual thought, a wonderful Christian answer, the right answer, the easy (not simple) answer that I have used and clung to in life… but a pat answer at best. Because the real help in all of this comes next.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. – James 1:5-8

Why would James put that next? Is he just tossing out ideas left and right, kinda “proverbing” if you will? Nope.The only way we can maintain our joy in the midst of trials is by seeing the end, and the only way to see the end is to ask for and receive the wisdom of God, which is totally opposite of the wisdom of this world.

In this world, the current trial would be all that mattered, as we live in the now, and we would do everything we possibly could do to make the pain stop, to feel better. And that’s why alcoholism, drug abuse, porno addictions, prostitution and a myriad of other vices exist. We want out NOW. That is a direct result of our world view being now-centered.

The wisdom of God is needed in order to be then-centered, Him-centered. And that wisdom is there for the asking. And when He gives it to you, He gives it without reproach, without finding fault with us, without rubbing it in that we should have asked earlier, without mocking the snot out of us. He simply gives it, because He knows we need it, and it brings Him joy when we have it.

Now, if I could only be smart enough to ask for it.

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