James 1:2-4 NASB
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Jesus Christ, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2). So, what was the joy set before him? It was the salvation of human lives. It was our deliverance from sin and our freedom from the control of Satan over our lives. And, it was our freedom, too, to now walk according to the Spirit, in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.
We, as well, should endure the cross – death to sin and self, and trials, tribulations, and persecutions, for the sake of Jesus Christ and his Gospel, and for the sake of being followers of Christ who lead others to be followers of Christ. And, we should endure this cross for the joy of knowing that our walks of faith will result in our own salvation, and in the salvations of others whose lives we touch with the grace of God and with his gospel of salvation from sin. We just need to be patient in our trials, and wait on God.
James 1:5-8 NASB
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
When we face various trials and persecutions, they will often time come through those who are double-minded, who are unstable in all their ways. For, the double-minded are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They can be one thing one moment, and then become the opposite in another moment. They can proclaim one thing while they live the opposite. They can give the appearance of one persona in front of people, for the praise of man, but then be just the opposite when they are no longer performing for public praise.
They are often like on a teeter-totter with regard to their thinking, reasoning and beliefs, going up and down in opinion. They are “tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14), including by their own deceitful scheming, because of the lies they tell themselves and thus believe and thus they also tell others. They are like in a vehicle going around and around in a cul-de-sac, and thus they never really ever go anywhere.
They have no set standard or belief, because they are like chameleons, who blend in with whatever their environment happens to be in any given situation, when it suits their purposes. They are restless and confused in their thoughts, actions and behavior, always in conflict with themselves, and thus with others who may expose their dichotomy, and who may call them to repentance and to faithful submission to the Lordship of Christ.
Thus, they may be ones who strongly persecute those who are strong in their walks of faith and in their relationships with Jesus Christ.
All Will Pass Away
James 1:9-11 NASB
But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
All that is of this world is going to one day pass away. Our flesh bodies will also one day perish, unless the Lord returns first to take us to be with him. Nothing of this earth will be forever. So, if what we pursue in this life is what is going to perish, then when all is said and done, we will have nothing to show for what we did with the lives we have been given. Those who lived their lives to please the flesh, thus, will die in their sins, and not have eternal life with God, even if they claimed to believe in Jesus Christ.
Face in a Mirror
James 1:19-25 NASB
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
This, I believe, goes perfectly along with the double-minded person. For, he who sees who he is, and how he needs to change, but then walks away and willfully forgets what he sees, is also a double-minded person. For, he first of all takes the time to read the Bible, and to know what it says, and even to see how it applies to his life, and what God requires of him, but then he doesn’t do what the word says, because he doesn’t really want to change, and so he willfully forgets what he learned. This is double-minded, too.
People like this, too, may be ones who are quick to anger, because they know the truth, and they know right from wrong, for they have seen themselves in that mirror, and yet they walked away, so they are in conflict with themselves and with the Word of God, and thus they are restless and confused because they are living lives which are contradictory to themselves, to what they profess, and they know it. So, especially if the truth of all this is exposed, this internal inferno may then come to the surface.
The Pharisees were like this, I believe. They were teachers of the Word of God, and leaders and rulers within the temple of God, so they knew the truth, and they knew right from wrong, but they put on a show for the public while they performed their wicked deeds in secret. And, this is why they persecuted Jesus, for his righteousness exposed their falseness and their wickedness, and thus they were continually on his case, trying to bring him down, and eventually they put him to death on a cross.
But, we ought not to be like that. We ought to be ones who not only hear and know or even teach the Word, but we need to be those who do what the Word says. We need to be those who put the Word into practice in our daily lives. And, part of that practice is enduring unjust suffering at the hands of those who, like the Pharisees, are double-minded in all that they do.
But, we can only do what the Word says, and not live by our flesh, by the power and the working of God – Father, Son & Holy Spirit – living within us. Only in the power of God can we resist Satan, flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. Only in the strength and wisdom of the Lord can we also endure unjust suffering and persecution at the hands of the double-minded, and remain strong in our faith, and in our commitments to Jesus Christ and to his service. All glory to God for all that is accomplished in our lives for the Lord’s purposes and for his praise and his glory. Amen!
Lord, I Need You
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You…
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart…
Friday, May 25, 2018, 7:43 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May you bring it home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!