There seems to be a lot of confusion in our world today in the midst of Covid 19. Everyday new information and usually new changes. Maybe we have become accustom to quick fixes and we are not use to have wait for something to end. Maybe we have bought into a fantasy that as Americans, bad things will not happen to us. If we look at early Christians and examine the earliest known text that would have been used to encourage new believers. We discover that James does not right about a quick fix but rather chooses to begin his epistle about having endurance.
Why would Jesus followers need endurance.
James understood that their faith could aid them during difficult seasons. Do you find yourself in a difficult season right now. Our nation certainly is. The last four years have all been about economic growth and now that is suddenly changing. So James reminds early Christians and us today
1. Problems will happen. This is not an if question, it is a matter of when.
2. Problems come in many different forms. The forms have names. Sickness, disease, unemployment, recession, pandemic, divorce, single parenting, addictions, and so many more.
3. Problems are unpredictable. They come in all shapes and forms. They can happen at any age and affect us all in different ways.
4. Problems have a purpose that produces a result. Each person has the same opportunity to respond to a problem positively or negatively.
James continues in the first few verses of the first chapter to explain the purpose of the difficult period/s.
1. Problems can be used to test our faith. No all problems are a result of satan. Some are given to us by God for a purpose.
2. Problems develop our patience/endurance. When problems like covid19 linger, it test our dependence on God.
3. Problems develop our character. As Christians we are to imitate Christ. Did God give His Son an easy path. Absolutely not. Jesus proved how His dependence on who His Father is and His Father's Word. His connection to these made Him into an obedient servant.
James had doubts in who Jesus was but after witnessing a resurected Jesus; James perspective changed. Jesus was no longer his brother but Jesus was his Lord and saviour. So James writes thes first 12 veses to help us bring clarity on how to respond during difficult times.
1. James says to rejoice. Are you kidding. How can I rejoice when I lose my job, bills piled up high, my spouse has left, my kids are driving me crazy, my dr. has given me bad news, someone I love has died, or so many other. James understood that if God can raise Jesus from the dead for our benefit James is confident that God is working for the greater good for those who love Him.
2. James says ask God for guidance. James knows that God is the source of wisdom.
3. James says trust in your faith and do not doubt. In other words do not worry about tommorow, see what God is doing today.
4. James says Trust in God's promises. This is the home run. Have peace in knowing that God has you. You are His son or daughter. A Father will look after his child. You have Jesus and God's spirit in you. These are gifts to help us endure the difficult times and rest in the promise that one day Jesus is going to make all things new.
thanks for reading, see ya next time.