Faith Challenged from Inside Us

Photo by Trace Hudson on Pexels.com

“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.” (James 1:12/KJV).

Here is yet another verse of scripture with the word “endure” rendered in the King James Version. This word too is based on the same word in the Greek original as in 1 Corinthians 13:7.

Previously I have been looking at a number of verses that speak of enduring outward circumstances. Here in the epistle of James, we find certain inward aspects of enduring more explicitly stated.

Suppose you have decided to love God and to follow Jesus. You have given your life to Jesus and you believe in his forgiving your sins. Now you want to live with him. You want to enjoy the inward peace a believer can experience.

Yet at times you may experience some kind of pull away from God. You may lose (some of) the joy you have known since you became a Christian. Certain questions and doubts may tend to trouble you. Or you may be tempted to doing certain things which you have learned to be incompatible with your newly found Christian life.

James is dealing with such or similar experiences in the first chapter of his epistle. Here, briefly, I want to share some of his main ideas:

Firstly:

Do not be troubled or discouraged by such feelings and thoughts. God still loves you. You still can enjoy your peace with God.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work …” (James 1:2-4a/KJV).

Secondly:

Do not blame God for unpleasant feelings and doubts. Do not blame God when what is sinful seems attractive to you.

James encourages us to rather consider all this as an aspect of our old nature. Our lives, deeds, thoughts, and attitudes previous to having become Christians have shaped our personality and our character.

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:13-15/KJV).

Thirdly:

Keep on trusting God. Renew your determination to follow Jesus. Remember all the benefits your faith in Jesus does entail! In saying this, I have paraphrased the verse quoted at the beginning of this blog-post:

“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.” (James 1:12/KJV).

There is blessing in staying faithful to Jesus in spite of inward troubles and outward difficulties. Such experiences can help us grow in loving and trusting God!

My feature image for the last part of 1 Corinthains 13:7 shows animals of the zoo “Wilhelma Stuttgart”. Presumably not all of us would that happily endure little monkeys enjoying theselves on their backs or shoulders.

About christenfindenruhe

Auf meinem deutschen Blog möchte ich kurze Texte über Matthäus 11 Verse 28 bis 30 veröffentlichen und die frohe Botschaft von Jesus Christus anschaulich machen. Es lohnt sich, Jesus Christus zu vertrauen. On my new English blog "Motivation of Christian Love" I am sharing my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13 and other bible texts.
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