Pastor Bill Meadows
October 9, 2013
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).
James tells us that the person who will endure trails patiently will be blessed here on earth and in the here after. This is hard to do, to be patient during these trails. Why does God permit us to go through these trails I wonder?
When we as Christians go through these trail, we will find out what kind of faith we have. Trails should develop our faith and the Christian character we need. I wonder how many just gave up when trail come. It is sad that many people think when they became a Christian and start living for that Jesus, they are free from the trails and difficulties of life. This is not true, they have just began. In God’s Words we find out that God has declared that these trails serve for useful purposes. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). What Paul is saying here is “God is in control and He is working things out and this not an accident that this trail is happening. How about the life of Joseph, who life we find in Genesis 37-50. His life was filled with disappointments, and sufferings. Yet Joseph could look now and see the reason for his sufferings. At the same time he told his brothers this, “But as for you, ye thought will against me; but
God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). What is Joseph talking about? Something bad can turn into good! People, God had a far-off purpose that Joseph didn’t know nor could he not see the future for his life. I must confess how human you and I are about this, because I can’t see any further than the end of my nose. When trouble comes to me, I ask, “Why does God permit these thing to happen to me?” Joseph was the same way. All he had was his faith in God. In everything we need to remember that God has a purpose in mind and it is for our good.
It was the same with Lazarus when he died. Mary and Martha could not understand why Jesus didn’t come sooner, but Jesus is always on time. Martha told Jesus this, “Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died” (John 11: 21). Martha and Mary could not see the future, but Jesus knew the future. Can you say this ? “All of this will work out for me and bring praises to God?” I believe this is one reason that we have ten, twenty, thirty year old Christians who are still babies. They have never grown up; and when a trail or some problems come in their lives, they run. It is easier to run, than to wait upon the Lord. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14). David tells us more about being on milk in Psalm 131:1-2, “Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” David is saying here, “I had to grow up. I need to get off the milk and start eating strong food. That food is no other than the Bread of Life. As you read the life of David we will see that the test he went thought enabled David to grow even more each time he had troubles.
James tells us that if we can endure these trails we will receive a crown of life, and that actually is eternal life itself. It is important that life is reserved for all those who love God and have shown that love by placing faith in His Son and the Atonement Christ made at Calvary. Eternal life is not earned by works, it is a gift from God to those who exercise their faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).