Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Trials and Wisdom

The passage from the Bible is James 1:2-8 - reproduced here for your info:

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Essentially, there's three questions that arise from this passage - but there are many more.

  1. What does it mean to be joyful in times of trial?
  2. What does it mean to lack wisdom?
  3. What does it mean by saying that we will be double-minded and unstable?
I really wish I had my reference on this first point, as it explained it SO well. It asked exactly what type of joy one should have (of course, the joy in knowing that God is still in control, as well as in the knowledge that one has eternal life), but under what circumstances. Should one be joyful BECAUSE of the trial? Should one be joyful IN SPITE OF the trial - brush it off? Should on be joyful once the trial IS OVER? However, looking at these questions and the text, it does not seem that either of these is correct. The text says that one should be consider it pure joy WHEN one receives trials BECAUSE our faith gets tested when we face trials, and when our faith is tested, we learn to persevere. Persevere in what? In our faith. Because we have faith that God is in control to the last, that our salvation WILL BE MADE COMPLETE in Him, and that we will spend eternity with Him. Only when we come to the end of our lives will we be made complete, lacking nothing.

Now here comes a problem. There are trials, and there are trials. Some of them we cause ourselves, but then others come about BECAUSE WE ARE CHRISTIANS. Not because of anything that we have done, but because Satan attacks us because of Him Who we serve.

Concerning the trials that are of our own creation; we plaster ourselves into corners, make mistakes, and walk down the wrong paths - all through choices that we make. However, God uses these opportunities to teach us - but we need to ask Him for His wisdom. It is only His wisdom that teaches us and enables us to get out of corners.

The trials that are NOT of our own creation, however, are there purely because of the One that we serve Who is in us. When this happens, one CAN be glad of the trial, because it means that we are worthy to be tracked down and attacked by Satan. It means we're doing the right thing, walking in God's will and able to be called His children, His heirs. These trials also need wisdom - to even SEE that this is why we are going through the trial, let alone how to deal with it.

Now, with regard to the double-mindedness and being tossed about by the waves, one can pretty clearly see where this comes in: that without the wisdom from God, we haven't got a clue what to do, and end up going nowhere with a lot of fuss and bother, whereas if we listened to Him and had faith that He would provide us with the wisdom that we need, we'd go places very quickly with little fuss.

1 comment:

  1. You are awesome - this is great and very helpful