Putting God's Word into Practice…

James 1:2-8 ~ Trials

on August 20, 2013

James doesn’t pull any punches or put forth any pleasantries in this letter, but proceeds right to the point with precious principles we need to put into practice!

Trials are inevitable, but they have great purpose!  God allows us to meet trials in life to test our faith and to produce endurance and character in our lives. However, it is our responsibility to remain in the trial until His work is complete and we have passed the test.  So often I try whatever it takes to get out of trials.  But just like any other test that we don’t pass in life, unfortunately we must keep re-taking it.  Trials continue to pop up until we have learned and grown the way God intended for us.

Trials give us an opportunity to ask for wisdom.  What a privilege!  We don’t have to go through trials with our limited insight and knowledge.  Trials are tools that point us to a wisdom unfathomably higher than our own!  Sadly, asking for God’s wisdom is sometimes our last resort.  When instead we should be asking Him at the onset: 1) What do you want to teach me or produce in me through this trial? 2) What will it take to pass this test?

God gives wisdom freely and generously–without reproach, reprimand, or rebuke–to all who ask in faith, believing they will receive it.

Proverbs 2:6-7 says, “For the LORD GIVES WISDOM; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; HE STORES UP SOUND WISDOM for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.”  Prior to these promises we see our role in gaining His wisdom:  Make your ear attentive to wisdom and incline your heart to understanding; call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, seek it like silver and search for it as for a hidden treasure…  Do we value God’s wisdom enough to seek it like that?

How often do we receive godly wisdom for our trials and think with our human minds, “That won’t work.” Then we proceed to use our own “wisdom.”  God calls that being double-minded and unstable.  One could also call it disrespectful!

When we were in Sarasota a few weeks ago I got a flat tire.  I prayed that God would show me who could help and walked into a Walgreens.  I remember looking at the people in there and wondering who was capable of changing a flat. I specifically remember looking intently at one gentleman in the photo department and thinking, “Definitely not that guy, but maybe he’ll know someone.” I didn’t ask.  An hour passed, and I found myself back in the Walgreens trying to get cooled off when an associate asked if I needed anything.  I told her my story and she called someone on the phone.  Guess who showed up to change my flat tire??  The gentleman from the photo department, who happened to be the store manager.  My trial could have been greatly abbreviated if I had not been doubtful, and just asked for help. It’s the same with God’s wisdom.  He has all the tools, knowledge and ability stored up for us, we just need to ask without doubting that His ways are best and that He can handle our trials.

Because trials are an occasion for growth in endurance and wisdom, they are also an opportunity for joy!  Just like Jesus’ example in Hebrews 12:2 where we learn that He faced His suffering with joy because He knew that the outcome was more wondrous than the pain.  Let’s not waste our trials, but celebrate them.  The Lord is able to bring beauty out of our various tests and trials.

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