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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

James 1:2



2 My [mou] brethren [adelphos], count it [hegeomai] all [pas] joy [chara] when [hotan] ye fall [peripipto] into divers [poikilos] temptations [peirasmos]; KJV-Interlinear



2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, NASB



James refers to the 'brethren' as fellow believers in Christ.This book is not addressed to unbelievers as they have no relationship with God, and as such their faith (non-existent) cannot be tested.


Unfortunately, among believers, far too many do not pursue their spiritual growth through the learning and understanding of doctrine, so they misunderstand and therefore misinterpret this passage, and this book, in some of the most absurd ways.


Some folks look to God as a miracle worker, and in so doing absolve themselves from any responsibility in life. It is far to easy to do nothing, than it is to be proactive and responsible in life.


There are those who are confused and cannot seem to make a simple decision, 'Father should I tie the left shoe first or the right shoe?'


And then there are those who fall far short of responsibility even into criminal behavior by withholding medical attention, believing that faith alone will heal all hurts and such.


And yet God gave us all the ability to discern, and evaluate, and reach proper conclusions with regard to the many situations that we will find ourselves in, throughout our life.


'Various trials,' is a reference to situations in life, that test our faith.These situations may or may not be caused by our own actions, but they typically will be those situations in which faith is a valid test, not intelligence.


God does not tempt, therefore God never causes it to enter into your life.We all do that on our own, and we do it very well.But God does give us truth which helps us to avoid temptation, and thus avoid sin, and even more, God allows situations to enter into our life in which we find ourselves dependent on Him, as no other alternative is available.


An example:You are a worker for a large company.You are laid off and now unemployed.


Well you did not have anything to do with the company's business so you could not avoid the layoff, but you do have the power to look for other work.Now, you could stay at home and pray for work and do nothing but pray. Is that reasonable? Is that a reasonable application of Bible doctrine?No.


God is not a genie, nor is God a recruiter. God gave you fingers, and hands, and legs, and the ability to read.So, you look for work. You fill out applications. You knock on doors. You do all of the things that you are able to do.


Here the test begins. You did not cause your unemployment situation, and you are doing all you can to find work.But you cannot force someone to hire you.That is where your effort ends and where Gods work begins.


Now your prayer can be effective. You pray for work, while you look for work.


In eternity past, God established the Devine Decrees.And in those decrees, God saw your present situation and God provided for it. He saw your efforts, and He saw the decisions of others, and God placed someone and some job in history, through the actions and decisions of others, which will create a job opportunity for you, and all of these things will come together for your benefit as well as for others.


'Before you call (eternity past), I will answer. While you speak (current prayer), I will hear.'


Today's prayer is the fulfillment of what has already been established in the decrees of eternity past.


Now take this example to a higher level. You have been kidnapped and held hostage, even tortured.You are in a helpless situation.You can try to escape, but that may or may not work.Prayer is definitely valid here.Faith may be tested even to the point of your death.


Daniel was actually thrown into the lions den. His friends were thrown into the fire. That is how close you could come to death, and still be delivered.God can take you right up to the very edge of death.How will you react?


Another example, and probably one of the toughest tests of all time.You are poor, have children, have bills and debts, no income. What do you do for your family? The test of emotions, of anxiety, of helplessness, even in the midst of a prosperous society, is one of the most difficult tests of all. There is no one to escape from, no one to turn to.Life just keeps ticking away, with nothing but the pressures of your worries and bill collectors, or imminent eviction pursuing you.


And making things even tougher, you can see celebrities, who have all of the advantages of life at their disposal, and they are caught up in divorces, or arguments, or actions regarding the most nonsensical things.And here you are, not even able to pay your utility bill or keep a decent meal on the table for the kids.


Tests are not limited to concentration camp inmates.Tests are not limited to injuries from accidents or birth defects. Tests are 'various' and can come from all sorts of situations, the list of which can be a mile long.


Tests do not however originate out of your voluntary sinning.Rob a bank and go to jail. This is not a test. At last initially. Your confinement can become a test of faith later on if you get with a daily Bible study, but faith is not tested by your stupidity in lust.


Tests come from the proper function of your spiritual life.And that function occurs while you live inside of the fellowship sphere. And, your spiritual life includes loads of common sense along with wise choices from being responsible in life.


Pursue homosexuality and get Aids. That is not a test. Smoke cigarettes and get cancer. That is not a test. Do drugs and alcohol and get the results that accompany those activities.This is not a test.Maintain your bitterness and anger and encounter disciplinary actions from God. This is not a test. Pursue gossip and self-righteousness and receive the repercussions of your actions. This is not a test.These are results for being stupid.


All sins have repercussions of one sort or another. Some decisions in life have unpleasant repercussions.Sometimes you have to live with those repercussions.


But in every situation, whether by your own actions or not, sooner or later you will face a state of total helplessness, and that is where your efforts end as you can go no further, and where Gods work begins.


Many times God will bring us to that ultimate point of helplessness, in order to help us learn and get with our spiritual life.


If you have learned doctrine, if you have any spiritual growth whatsoever, then tests of your faith will come along. If you have some understanding, then you will realize that God will get you through your ordeal in some appropriate fashion.


That solution may be getting a job, getting a loan, getting medical attention, or simply getting through terminal cancer with some semblance of peace of mind until you close your eyes and wake up face to face with Jesus.


Regardless of your situation, when all you have available to you has been exhausted and when your life depends totally on God, then you should look at life with peace of mind and joy, because God will get you through your situation one way or another. And, God will do it in a fashion which glorifies Him (not you), and in such a way that your life will be the better off for it.


The test is, how you approach and live through your ordeal.


Will you trust in God? Will you keep your head and 'think' of the many alternative solutions which God has provided for you already? Or, will you fall apart, in bitterness, and blame anyone or everyone?


God has given you a single opportunity to live a real adventure - you own life.If you were a movie, how will your story play out, and how will it end?

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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