Monday, October 03, 2005

The Book Of James

Man, this book really rips me up. It may be the most pragmatic book of the New Testament. I was reading the first chapter of James, and God just got to crawling all over me about life and trust. Consider it pure joy when you face, is this guy talking to me or what?!? But the "ah-ha" moment came as I discussed this passage with some other folks last night. One of my friends was trying to talk about the difference between faith and laziness. His main question was something like this: "I know we should turn things over to God, and trust Him to take care of it, but how can you know if this is laziness or faith?" God spoke to me in that moment because I've really wrestled with that very thing. James tells us that when we face these trials, we should ask God for wisdom... That's not to say you just leave it with God and hope it works out. When you find yourself in the midst of a trial, ask God for wisdom, and He will give it to you freely. With wisdom, you know what you need to do, and what to trust God with. With God's wisdom, you know where to step, where to wait, and where to leap. I've read this passage hundreds of times, but last night it really was a source of great inspiration. When we face trials, count it joy, and ask God for wisdom to walk wisely through the trial. That's the essence of life, really. And the bonus is that we will not only walk wisely and weather the storms in a Godly way, but we earn the respect of people watching because they see us walk with wisdom. Max Lucado calls these trials the "thumps" of life. He says, "When a potter makes a pot, he checks its solidity by taking it from the oven and thumping it. It it "sings," it's ready. If it "thuds," it's placed back in the oven. The character of a person is also checked by thumping." With God-given wisdom, our lives will "sing" when we're thumped. Otherwise, we react to the trials in our flesh, and the result is a resounding "thud" that declares we are not yet ready. My hope and prayer is for wisdom that will allow my life to sing with the thumps that inevitably come.


stephen said...

Our community (Mosaic) is walking through the book of James on Sunday mornings then during our mid-week life groups. What a ride!

We say that James isn't the guy you want to invite over to lunch very often because he just gets right in your face and lets you have it. Pretty refreshing if you ask me.

There aren't many commentaries needed for James (it's really cut and need to wonder what was he saying) which is another reason I like it so much. Pre-believers and Believers alike can really grab ahold of what he is saying and can act on it immediately.

Great job reminding us about this special book Jason.

The Bishop said...

Man, isn't it funny how simple and forward James is, yet we forget the lessons of the book? I'm enjoying James all over again!