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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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
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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