Last night we read James 1:2-18. It is an amazing text on what it looks like to fully obey and trust God. I find this text especially encouraging because it points to a greater hope and explains what it looks like to fully trust in God and what the result is for not trusting fully in Him.
Verse two through four really set the whole section up. He writes something here that is completely outside of the thinking of the world. He says that we should count it joy when we experience troubles. These troubles he says are what perfect us and make us more like our master Jesus. Unlike the world James says that its good that we go through trials, no matter how trivial or hard, because they are good fo us. Its hard truth to swallow and some won’t believe it. He explains why in the following verses.
Verse five through eight then dig into the meat of whats it means to trust in God. James uses the imagery of an unsteady sea to depict the mind of a person that doesn’t fully trust God. He states that they do ask God for things. They pray and make request, however they don’t really trust that He is good and will give them what they need. One minute they trust and while waiting or when they receive and answer they don’t like believe him to be evil. They are unsteady and really don’t trust in Him.
James then discribes what seems to be the two biggest trails for those that he writes too. In verses 9 through 11 he speaks of both poverty and riches as being easy trials and distractions in truly trusting God. For those that are poor it is easy to say that God isn’t providing because they feel abandoned and are continually working just to stay alive. For those that are rich it is easy to them to trust and hope in their riches. They are continually provided for and have the ability to buy anything they want. James points out that whether a person be rich or poor their trust should be in God because their poverty and their riches will both eventually be no more.
He then breaks down what it looks like for those that do not trust in God. Whether they rely on their riches or sin because of their trials James warns those that he writes too not to blame God for the trails and temptations. It points to Geneis 3 as the problem and to God as the solution. He states that the evil desires we have (from the fall) lead to evil actions which eventually lead to both physical and spiritual death. These desires are not from God James says, because God is unwavering though we are wavering. God is faithful when we are not.
James then ends this line of thought by stating something incredibly amazing that we sometimes miss to easily. In verse eighteen He states that it was His (meaning Gods) will to bring them forth by the Gospel. That it was by hearing this Gospel that God saves them as an example to all those around them just how amazing God is. That He pursues us even though we are wavering. That He wants us even though we sin against Him. That His mercy and grace are so amazing.
My hope would be that you would know who He is. That you would put ALL your hope and faith in Him. He is good!
A few simple questions to ask yourself is these, “When trouble and trials come do I run to God fully trusting in Him?” “Do I truly believe that He is good?” and “Regardless of the answer am I faithful?”