I saw some things in a new way this morning when I read these verses for my devotions. Thanks in part to the commentary I have been reading along with my devotions. I will put the link to the commentary page I read at the bottom so you can read the original if you want... after you finish reading my post. The quotes from here down are from that commentary.
Some things were just a reminder but other thoughts were new. It was very encouraging.
First we must know the temptation does NOT come from God. We are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires.
"Trial => Testing => Perseverance => Maturity (from James 1:2-4)
Trial => Temptation => Sin => Death"If we fall into temptation it is our own fault, we can blame no one else... not God, our parents, our spouse, or a friend... not even Satan. Satan may tempt us but we can choose to resist or flee OR to sin, it is our choice.
The temptation wants to drag us away and entice us. When we are tempted we are tempted to sin - we are the prey not someone else. If we are tempted to return evil when someone has injured us in some way then we are the victim, not them. For when we take revenge we FALL not them!
James then uses a childbearing image.
"Desire conceives => gives birth to sin => it grows => and brings forth Death!"
"... the greatest danger to James's persecuted readers is not the wrong being done to them but the wrong they may do."My current trial - My husband's Job loss and our financial struggles because of it
The Temptations -
- To Lose Hope in a God who promises to provide ALL my needs
- To covet or be jealous of others and what they have
- To blame God
Then comes vs. 16. A pivotal verse. Don't Be Deceived....
- Don't Be Deceived about where Temptation comes from
- Don't Be Deceived about where Good Things come from
"Both images are designed to give us assurance that we may rely upon Him confidently. James wants his readers to cling to the certainty of God's unchanging love in their suffering"
"Especially in times of trial, is your image of God one of exalted authority, trustworthy constancy and unfailing generosity?"The question is... Do I believe God gives Me good gifts, even in the midst of my trials?
Our Good Gifts come down from the Father above so I need to look up... daily... and search for his good gifts to me, instead of always looking at my circumstances.
Our Good Gifts come in 2 parts. First He Made Us HIS children. We are begotten. We are adopted. He regenerated us. We are His children. That is a Good Gift. Then it says we are the firstfruits. We are changed, we have the capacity to change. There is
"an expectation of the ultimate fruit-bearing goal of God's Work in us."We can change and grow. We can choose to respond correctly to the trials and temptations in our lives. We can choose to trust a God who never changes, does not vary or turn a different way.
These discoveries and re-discoveries from James have helped me today. I know I am a sinner and a frail human and will probably fall and fail to trust God again some moment/time in the future. But for today. I am trusting my Lord.
Digging into his word, reading Fearless by Max Lucado (which was a great choice of first book to go with my devotions for January, God's timing is perfect), listening to Praise Music every day and praying, have really helped me. I helps me to keep having a right attitude about things. There will still be struggles ahead, but I trust God to help me through and help me deal with whatever he thinks is best to bring into my life. His Goal for me is not comfort but to help me Grow to be more like Christ in my mind, thoughts, actions and attitudes.
Here is the link to the commentary page - http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Jas/Temptations-Good-Gifts
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