This Temporary Life

James Study 1

Some days are weights. Hefty and exhausting.

Some days are just full of run-on hours that seem both endless and fleeting, blurring into indeterminate time that was there and has gone.

Other days are glimmers. Hope-full and laden with the sweet tones of joy.

But still more are mountains. Sheer and treacherous.

Uncharted seas.

Terrifying depths.

And somehow we need to find the strength and grace to pull through each one.

Let these words from James encourage you today…let’s take a look at three things we learn about God through today’s passage and three things we need to do to keep on keeping on.

Read James 1:12-18.

God has saved us

This life is but temporary. It’s hard to hang on to that sometimes, isn’t it? Our small, muddled days don’t always seem to be a journey to eternity, and yet they are.  That’s the path we are on.

But it’s a good path.

It’s a path that takes us home.

And whatever else befalls us, whatever is written, woven and spun into the path we travel, James reminds us that we receive the crown of life. It is promised, it is certain, it is for sure.

God is for us

Matthew Henry’s commentary says “God is not the author of any man’s sin”.  He is not trying to catch us out and unawares.  While he permits the terrain on the path we travel, whether that be filled with potholes and bumps or be mile after mile of uphill struggle, he does not want us to fail. He is not sitting waiting for us to mess it all up so that he can chastise us or have a good laugh at our expense.

Far from it.

Rather he is for us.

It’s our own sin that separates us, it’s our own choices that affect how we react and respond to the situations we find ourselves in.

God does not change

And in and through it all, God does not change.

James tells us that every good and perfect gift we have is from a God “who does not change like shifting shadows”.

He is utterly dependable.

He chose us.

But he does not simply leave us where we are.

James is crystal clear that our growth and maturity relies very much on our own responses and behaviours.  We must seek God’s wisdom to make sense of this life we have, but we are responsible for more.

Not so that we can be saved.

We are already saved.

That Maths is already done. You cannot subtract from or add to or multiply what God has done. You cannot make your salvation better, lovelier, worthier…your one time penalty for all your sin has been paid.

But, oh dear friends, we are not to stay there.

We are not dragged out of the mud simply to languish beside it with one foot still hanging in.

Instead we are to…

Persevere

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial

Keep going! Keep on! Don’t grow faint, don’t lose heart! The battle is WON! The enemy is defeated!

We must keep our eyes off this temporary home and on eternity.

Keep going! Keep on! Don't grow faint, don't

Flee temptation

James 1:14-15 shows us the sombre path we follow when we give in to worldly temptations.  It’s a slippery slope, and it’s quick.

We must be active and alert when it comes to those things in our lives that distract us from our walk. We are walking among a battlefield and yet how often do we stroll on through, no armour, no sword for the fight, and we are surprised when suddenly we find ourselves compromised.

Be sure the enemy sees you coming when you wander off into battle.

Know your weaknesses and flee!

Choose to go a different way, a better way.

And finally:

Ready yourself

Suit up friends! Be battle ready and on your guard, so that you are not tempted and you are not deceived.

Put on the FULL armour of God.

Read the word.

Know it. Learn it. Meditate on it.

Pray.

Repeat.

Thoughts for Today

  1. How can knowing these truths about God (that he has saved us, he is for us and that he never changes) help you when you face trials?
  2. How can you make sure you take all the right responsibilities when you are faced with difficulties?

Prayers for Today

  • Today, pray for perseverance, wisdom to recognise temptation and help in being battle-ready!
Grace and Love
Helen x
Linked up with: Purposeful Faith

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