Tuesday, December 30, 2008

James 1:9-12 "Humility Through Trials"

Read James 1:9-12.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial." NIV

James 1:9-12 is a continuation of :2-8. James has given direction on trials and our response to them and on wisdom and how to receive it. He then goes back to trials in verse 9. Sandwiched in between is a paragraph on the man of low position versus the one of high position. Why is that?

As I've observed people who have gone through terribly trying times, the ones who do it well possess one very important quality -- humility. They quickly discovered that when you have been broken down into tiny little pieces and all control of your life taken away, haughtiness, pride, and position have no power. When lying flat on your back, you are profoundly made aware of Who is in charge. At least you're very clear about who is not in charge and that is you.

Devastation in life leaves us asking all kinds of questions -- why me? why now? how could this happen? what's the purpose in this? The unsurrendered may start kicking and screaming, spending all their energy and frustration in angry outbursts or lonely depression. But the committed believer fairly quickly recognizes that those posturings will get you nowhere. It is only when we accept our humble position before the throne that God will give the wisdom we need and the peace our heart yearns for to endure trials and come out on the other side a better person and servant of Him.

Trials will come -- that is a fact we can't escape. It's how we handle them that shows our true character. And as a body of believers, we should always lift up those who are going through trials to our Lord in prayer. They need all the support they can get to make wise decisions and stand firm in their faith. I am personally so grateful to my brothers and sisters who have remembered me to Him through difficult times. I have truly "felt" the power of their prayers as the Father has honored their requests for peace, strength, comfort, and wisdom. The bottom line -- not only do we have the Almighty Creator of the Universe on our side, but we have a bountiful supply of brothers and sisters to stand by us. We are not alone and we don't have to do life alone. This is a battle of armies, not single hand-to-hand combat. We must always rely on the body to help hold us up through trials and to remember to be the body to others when they need us.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Study some of the Old Testament mentors who came through trials with humility and wisdom. See David, Ruth, Joseph, Job and Hosea to start with.
  2. Read through the lyrics of this amazing song.
  3. Are you going through difficult times? Humble yourself before the Lord and let Him fill you with His wisdom. Tell your brothers and sisters in Christ. They will help hold your arms up through the battle.

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