Last week one of our church members, Dwight, was killed in an auto accident. Church was difficult Sunday--I think everyone there could feel the grief and shock. Our wonderful Pastor dedicated the day's sermons to the occasion, giving a series of 3 lessons out of James chapter 1.
James exhorts believers regarding our response to trials, and follows each exhortation with an explanation.
- 1. First, we are to rejoice in trials. (vv. 2-3: "count it all joy when ye fall into divers [various] temptations.") Why? Because trials produce endurance. Our spirits can rest and rejoice because we know that God sovereignly ordains and allows each event in our lives.
- Second, we should remain under trials, rather than fight to get away from them. (vs. 4:"Let patience have her perfect work") Why? Because trials allow God to do His perfecting work in us.
- Third, we must request wisdom to endure trials. (vs. 5: "If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God") Why? Because we do lack it, and miserably!
- Last, we need to resist the temptation to question God's character and His conduct. (vs.13: "Let no one say when he's tempted, 'I am tempted of God." God can not be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man.") Why? Because God has no sin nature, sin has nothing to which it can appeal. Man is the source of sin, not God.
Pastor gave 4 unbiblical responses that believers often are tempted to think during a trial:
- God, are you in control? --questions His sovereignty
- God, do you care? --questions His love
- God, are you correct? --questions His wisdom
- God, are you clean? --questions His holiness (motives)
I know I needed that solid, Biblical current of truth this week, when the circumstances shook the ground under my feet. Once again, I shake my head and wonder, "How do people get through life without God?" I'm infinitely thankful that I'll never have to find out.
God is good, all the time. And He gives only good gifts.