Loving God In Spite of Trials

Lawyer and statesman Daniel Webster was a powerful orator who gave early evidence of his quick mind and way with words. One day Webster’s father, who was to be absent from home, left Daniel and his brother Ezekiel specific work instructions. But on his return he found the task … More

Excuses

In this passage James reminds Christians who are going through trials that God rewards those who remain steadfast. The reward is twofold:

  1. The possession of an inner blessedness (v. 12a). Happiness is not affected by outward circumstances. It is  for those who are poor, hungry, persecuted, martyrs and so on.
  2. The reception of a crown of life (v.12b). The “crown of life” is the prize which God has promised to those who love him.

The question is, who is responsible when temptation comes? Man is always ready to shift the blame for his sins to someone else. This began with Adam (Gen. 3:12). However, James is saying that no matter what excuses we make, we have no one to blame but ourselves (vv. 13-15. We are not be deceived by other people (v. 16). Having established the fact that God is in no way responsible for man’s sin, James declares that  God is the source of all that is good (v. 17). There are many secondary causes, but He is the original source of all the good that comes to us. Temptation to evil comes from elements which have their roots in man’s own  heart. Man surrenders his will to lust, conception takes place, and lust gives birth to sin (v. 15). God is not to be blamed; our fellow men are not to be blamed; not even Satan is to be blamed. Sin has its roots in ourselves, and we must bear full responsibility for it. This new life is the source of power that will help us live for Him (v. 18).

Application

Did you ever hear a child say “He made me do it"? As an adult I may say “The devil made me do it.” The truth of the matter is “I chose to do it.” It is easy for me to do a good thing in a bad way. Is it wrong to pass an exam? Not normally. But if I cheat in order to pass - then it is.

James 1:12-18 (English Standard Version)


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