Standing strong for Jesus Christ wherever you are in life
In my last article I explained that if we ask God for wisdom He will bestow this in our spirit. I had to stop the writing at James 1:5 but in verses 6 - 8 the Apostle gives the conditions for receiving wisdom. If we ask Jesus by faith without wavering this is indeed what God desires to see in our hearts and minds. I believe one bit of practical advice would be we should ask God for this faith without wavering so our conviction is strong when we make intercession for this wisdom in our trials. When the average person goes through something they usually get angry or upset but this lacks the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit working through our hearts.
If a Christian does not have the conviction of faith without wavering then he or she is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. If you ever observed that it is very unpredictable to say the least.
Then James in verse seven writes very bluntly in essence do not think that a believer in Jesus Christ will receive anything from the Lord. This is pretty heavy duty language to not even be the recipient of even one thing in this particular context. This is not to say we did not receive anything from God in other areas of our life but when it comes to wisdom and trials that we are presently facing faith without wavering compliments God through our spirit of belief. If we are double minded the bottom line is we are unstable in all our ways. Does this sound like faith without wavering ? The latter says God I know you love me and you are a good Father and desire the best for me but being double minded is putting God in a position where He can not give us a definitive blessing which includes wisdom from heaven.
The Apostle James talks about the brother of low degree and rejoice that he is exalted. This was the way of James phrasing that a born again Christian should be humble in their bad circumstances approaching Jesus Christ in faith and asking for wisdom in the middle of hardships. We think it is more spiritual to be taken away from our trials but for the most part we learn so much more trusting God during our sufferings.
James also writes about the rich person and says he or she is made low because as the flower of the grass he or she will pass away and die. We were born with nothing and we will die with nothing. Of course I am talking about earthly riches. Being rich is not a sin but the "Love" of money is a transgression against God. It is not a good idea to get attached to anything in this world. James goes into another analogy about the sun with it's burning heat withers the grass and the flowers die. The beauty perishes and the rich person will die in his ways. In context James is talking about the corrupt wealthy person that does not care about God but is depending on his money to save him.
In the last verse that I will be going over the Apostle James goes back to the person that has sincerity for God. He switches his tone from hardships in trials to enduring temptation. If said Christian is tempted with sin and is in the habit of refusing to cave into transgressions this believer in Jesus Christ will receive the crown of life as a reward in heaven. The connection most Christians do not seem to understand is abstaining from sin is loving God. Let me just quote the original text so you can read this passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study in the Bible.
(6) "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (7) For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (8) A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (9) Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: (10) But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. (11) For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. (12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receice the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." James 1: 6 - 12.
There is one thing essential to be understood in our asking God for His wisdom. No wavering or staggering at this promise of God through our spirit of unbelief. Our intention must be sincere and our mind should be steadfast in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is our responsibility in our afflictions because we will be like a wave tossed by the wind. Faith can lift us up but distrust can bring us down. If you ever read the entire Bible God places a high degree of having faith in Him. If a believer in Christ changes from unbelief to doubt in God this Christian is not going to have favor with God. In this context he or she can not expect wisdom from Jesus Christ in their distress which is the plan of God. If our spirit wavers and we do not have true faith in Jesus Christ this will influence our conversation in our prayer life. It is true because some intercession can be destructive. We will even be unstable in life and our responses will be evident as people observe us walk in our journey and this will reflect bad on the Person of Jesus Christ.
James makes it clear that it does not matter if you are rich or poor because both are directed on how to receive this joy and comfort from God in times of affliction. When James writes about Christians that are of low degree they are just as important as believers in Christ who have money. The only things we do that are going to last for eternity are that which we do for Jesus Christ with the right motive. I have seen some of the poorest Christians extremely rich in Jesus Christ. I have seen rich people very unhappy. There is no condition in life that puts us out of reach of rejoicing in God. If we are made low in life we are in a greater position to receive the grace of Jesus Christ through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. If we are low that just gives us an opportunity at our prospect of our exaltation because God has a heart for these types of people.
If anything rich people according to James 1:10 -11 should be humbled because they along with their wealth are going to die. Just as the flower fades so will the rich man unless he lived his life for Jesus Christ. The rich person should rejoice but not in what God allowed him or her to possess but in the grace of Jesus Christ that keeps this person humble even or should I say especially in their high status of life. A rich powerful person in pride will be destroyed in his or her soul and will probably ruin other lives in life for eternity. I have never seen so much big money running around in the history of all mankind and with equal measure I have never seen so much sin and corruption on this earth.
There is a special blessing that is promised to those who endure their duties for the Lord along with trials. A person that just got redeemed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ right before he dies can not expect to receive the same reward as the Apostle Paul. It is not the person that grows in the Lord only when he is blessed but endures in hard times and remains faithful to God. James 1:12 says there is a crown waiting for him or her that rejoices in good times and endures in bad times. Afflictions may cause us pain but a blessing usually arises from them. It can sometimes be very difficult to keep our devotion to Jesus Christ at horrible set backs when humanly speaking in our circumstances there is just no hope but sufferings and temptations are the way to eternal blessedness.
Verse twelve says when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life because when the grace of God is found in this Christian to be authentic this is of very high worth to heaven. To give you a human analogy earthly metals are tried to their excellency by fire but in like manner the tried believer in Jesus Christ shall receive this particular crown. This is referred to in this passage as the crown of life. We only bear our cross for a season on earth in these fleshly bodies but this reward is for eternity. This is promised to a Christian living a righteous life in trials enduring to the end. When we endure trials and temptations we must continue to love Jesus Christ. To phrase this another way the crown of life is promised to believers in Jesus Christ who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Good and bad times will come because this is the way life is but we must remain faithful to Jesus Christ.
If you are one that does not know the true Messiah who created you now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ into your heart by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life. We are all going to go through good and bad times but there is something about the person that does this with allegiance to Jesus Christ. The person who does not care may get drunk but his or her problems still lie dormant in life with no real solution. Having an eternal perspective through the Person of Jesus Christ is the plan of God and according to James 1:12 we will receive a heavenly reward.
God Bless you,