Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Trying' Is Used Only Once

This year marks my 50th birthday. I’m at a point in my life where I can say I have some loved ones who have gone on "home" before me and I’m actually thinking about the day when I will see them again. But I’m also at the point in my life where I think about going to Heaven for I yearn to be brought into His presence ~ for troubles and trials have a way of drawing us closer in our relationship with Christ.

I’ve been reading the Book of James today ~ and it opens with an exhortation in respect to these very trials. For the first time, I read it differently than all the times before. Verse 2 says My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations. Temptations are typically thought of as those things that tempt us ~ and I was thinking along those lines in the past when I read this. Verse 3 goes on to say Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. I reckon, in my mind, I was reading verses 1-12 as "if you can get through the temptation without yielding to it then it will develop patience." I ‘supposed’ this in my mind but never failed to study it further ~ until tonight.

I checked out my Strong’s concordance for the Greek meaning of temptations in verse 2 ~ which said "a putting to proof - adversity." I then checked the Greek meaning of the word trying in verse 3 (interestingly this word is used only once in the entire Bible) ~ which said "a testing; a trial." The word temptation is used again in verse 12. Upon checking the Greek meaning it said "uncertain affinity; depth; deep or open sea."Definitely these words indicate troubles, trials, tribulations, and deep despair rather than evil temptations. This has meant a great deal to me ~ once again ~ that the Holy Spirit as brought me to yet another understanding of the scripture.

Divers temptations (trials) = patience

I liked what J. Vernon McGee had to say about this passage ~ "Testing will either drive you to the Lord or it will drive you away from Him. So many Christians become bitter. It is not going to be a pleasant experience to come someday into the presence of Christ if you have let the very thing your heavenly Father was using to develop your character and to bring you into a loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ make you bitter."

So we have to hang in there. We will have testings and these testings are a method God uses to develop us in the Christian faith. And there will be a crown of life for those who persevere under trial ~ James 1:12 says Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Divers temptations (trials) = Patience = Crown of Life

Now I’m not anticipating the Crown of Life ~ for I have too often become weary and bitter while going through the refining process by my Potter ~ but I just want to leave here trying ~ if you know what I mean.

There is only one solution on how to get through these divers temptations ~ these trials of life ~ stay the course, gain patience, keep the faith, and He will see us through.

Is there no other way open, God,
Except through sorrow, pain, and loss,
To stamp Christ’s likeness on my soul -
No other way except the cross?
And then a voice stills all my soul
As stilled the waves of Galilee,
"Can’st thou not bear the furnace heat
If midst the flames I walk with thee?
I bore the cross. I know its weight.
I drank the cup I hold for thee.
Can’st thou not follow where I lead?
I’ll give strength. Lean hard on Me."
~ Author Unknown

1 Thoughts On The Matter:

Nancy said...

This is a great post Cathy. It would be a nice devotion in the mOm's room sometime, we need more devotion time in there...I love those times when all the parents can share the Bible and share tears of joy and rejoicing.

Love you,
Nancy