James – pt. 3

In James 1:9-11, we learn that it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor – you will have trials and temptations. The poor may be tempted to “take matters into their own hands,” but they must trust in God to provide. Then they can share what He has done for them. The rich may be tempted to take credit for all they have, but it is God who has provided.

No matter what your earthly/physical blessings, the most important are our spiritual blessings, which are from God. The things of earth will pass, will come and go, but our blessings in God will last forever. And the only way we can have them is through Him and His goodness. We can’t earn it. We can’t steal it. It can only be gifted from God.

Moving to verses 12-15, we find that we are not only blessed, but doubly blessed by God in enduring testing and temptation. First of all, we must have His help to get through it. We can’t do it alone. Second, we have to trust Him and are blessed when we trust in those blessings and gifts He sends us to get through. Our reward isn’t simply for getting through the trial – it is for trusting in God and His ways and relying on Him and not ourselves. Our sinful nature – our own and mankind’s in general – are the catalysts for these problems, though. Not God. When these urges come, we have to rely on God and trust Him, to not give into our flesh. Every trial and temptation is a product of our own weaknesses – whether it be lust, pride, fear, whatever – and if we give into them, it pulls us farther from God and can eventually lead to spiritual death if not kept in check. We must turn it over to God and trust Him!

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