Tuesday, July 15, 2008

some thoughts on the James study

I am still slowly moving through James. Here's the verse I'm looking at:

James 1:2-3 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." (ESV)

Currently, I am examining the phrases, "testing of your faith" (narrowing in on "testing" or "trying" yesterday) and "produces steadfastness". It's really good. Trying to stay there and not get hurried. As I was studying today how the Lord tests the trustworthiness of our faith, I imagined a tree house. I imagined someone taking an enormous hammer to it and giving it severe blows just to make sure that it really was secure and would not fall. It helped me see the goodness of the Lord in giving us trials to see whether our faith really was sure. (He knows the weaknesses, but I don't...not without the testing, anyway.) What a tragedy it would be to come to the end of my life and not really know whether I had faith or whether I merely had a belief system that worked for me. What is faith unexercised? untried?

3 comments:

Tiffany said...

i started going through james the other day too. so good. yes, slowly. i need to do that too.

Rachel said...

"merely had a belief system that worked for me"--so true. It is trials that burn away the chaff--our self-reliant coping skills and reveal whether our faith is rooted in the riverbank or the shifting sand.

Anonymous said...

good words, Christian sister. i set out to memorize the entire book of James a couple years ago (you can pat me on the back later). i only got through 1 1/2 chptrs. i don't remember much now other than shifting something like waves of the sea AND this verse which literally got me through lots of crap. it's so very comforting. there's a reason to suffering which is what convinced me of God's sovereignty (as opposed to the "open theism view").

i'm gonna botch this but piper once said something like if God doesn't ordain suffering for a specific purpose and doesn't know the future (i.e. has no idea when said suffering will end) yet we believe he is omnipotent - powerful enough to put an end to the suffering, then he's a cruel God for allowing it to continue for any amount of time.