James 1:2-8 – Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
When you seek enlargement you will face trials and temptations.
- Verse 3 – Testing your Faith produces perseverance;
- Verse 4 – Perseverance causes you to mature and become complete as a person, not lacking anything
What is Perseverance?
- steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
- Theology. continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
- Verse 5 – If you lack something, this is where you ask God for wisdom and He will provide it to you. You have not if you ask not (James 4:1-3)
- Verses 6-8 – When you ask you must believe and not doubt
- If you doubt, you will not receive anything from the Lord
- Such a person is classified as a double-minded man unstable in all that they do
- They are neither here nor there;
- You can consider such a person to be a lukewarm individual. They are neither hot or cold and worthy of being spat out (Revelations 3:16).
If we seek Increase and Enlargement we must be groomed for it.
Look at Joseph in the Bible. He was a slave, a servant, a prisoner and then eventually after all those trials and tests he endured, he eventually became a prime minister (2nd in command) in all of Egypt under Pharaoh. He was groomed through those tests and trials and endured humiliation, temptation, disappointment and discouragement that could have made him lose focus off of his dream, that he would one day rule over his family.
You will require – Integrity, Wisdom, Maturity in Faith and application of your faith through Action.
You must understand that Faith requires you to listen, and then do what you hear.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
James 1:19 – 25 – Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
- Verse 19 – Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger – A person who lacks self-control is unable to listen nor take advice, is argumentative, unwilling to obey instruction and therefore becomes unteachable. This verse highlights how pride can get in the way of doing what you have heard and been instructed to do, not on just a biblical basis, but also on practical basis with what you do in your everyday life.
- Verse 20 – anger does not produce a right attitude that the Lord wants us to have
- Verse 21 – get rid of the arrogance in order to obtain the promises of God that is contained in His Word which should be planted in you if you believe. What you ultimately believe in, is what you end up becoming.
- Verse 22 – do not be just a listener of instructions, do what you have been told to do. You must apply what you learn and put your faith into action.
Example: It’s like learning how to swim, you can be told verbally what to do in the water, but simply hearing the instructions and then not applying those instructions into action are of no effect for you if you don’t get into the water to practice what you have been taught to do.
Those that practice doing what they hear (or have been instructed to do), will eventually become experts in what they repeatedly do and elevate to new levels from being just a beginner to a professional standard. This is how God wants us to apply our Faith in life. You may be a beginner at first, but you can only increase when you continue doing something repeatedly by practicing your faith and putting it into action.
- Verses 23 – 24 – If you do not put the instructions given to you into practice, you will forget and will therefore become useless and undependable to anyone’s standard. No one wants to waste time with someone who cannot follow basic instructions. Laziness is a vice to your quest for increase.
- Verse 25 – Those that act on and obey instructions will be rewarded in all that they do. Any teacher enjoys a student dutifully practicing what they have learned in the classroom and attempting to apply what they have learned into action. Those that practice continuously on the basis of that instruction will be able to move to new levels and new heights.
Yes, you will face adversity from others who will be jealous of where you are going, but the first hurdle of adversity that you must conquer is yourself.
No one can make you act on faith. No one can force you to listen to basic instructions, no one can cause you to move and apply what you have learned into action. These things are non-transferable responsibilities. If you cannot change your pattern of behavior and thinking to match what it says in God’s Word, you will not go anywhere if you yield to the temptation of laziness.
The just shall live by faith, however, the slothful shall die by inaction.
Therefore, choose life, and life more abundant if you want to get to the next level.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Focus on what’s in front of you rather than dwelling on what is irrelevant and behind you.
Philippians 3:11-13 (NKJV)
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
You cannot move forward if you have the old-mindset. Think big, focus ahead, move forward towards the goal. Do not allow yourself to get distracted from what is happening around you. Be like Joseph who focused on his dream. Be determined and remain focused. You can achieve great things when you have God by your side. Remember what the Bible says about you. When you are weak, focus on the Word that tells you “you are strong”.
[ The Whole Armor of God ] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.