Monday, July 7, 2008

The Benefits of Troubles

This evening, I am sharing a devotional on James 1:2-8 with our small group. Here are some thoughts on this passage . . .

We have a tendency to try to get out of trouble prematurely. We want to do everything and anything we can to get out of hot water. To find a way of escape. But often, God wants us to remain in that situation. God wants to use our troubles.

In verse 3, James writes, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

The Greek word that is translated “patience” in the NKJV is hupomone (hopeful endurance, patient endurance, waiting), derived from hupomeno (to stay under, remain, persevere, endure).

God uses our troubles to put our faith to the test. To prove and strengthen our faith. God does not use our troubles to impair us but to improve us.

In verse 4, James conrtinues, But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

God uses our troubles to bring us to spiritual maturity. We must learn to submit to the will of God. Have no way but His. To resist avoiding His righteous dealings with us. Believing that He always does what is good and right and just.

Torrey lists ways that our “troubles” may be beneficial:

In promoting the glory of God - John 9:1, 2, 3; 11:3,4; 21:18,19
In exhibiting the power and faithfulness of God - Ps 34:19,20; 2Co 4:8, 9, 10, 11
In teaching us the will of God - Ps 119:71; Isaiah 26:9; Micah 6:9
In turning us to God - Deut 4:30,31; Neh 1:8,9; Ps 78:34; Is 10:20,21; Ho 2:6,7
In keeping us from again departing from God - Job 34:31,32; Is 10:20; Ezek 14:10,11
In leading us to seek God in prayer - Jdg 4:3; Je 31:18; Lam 2:17-19; Ho 5:14,15; Jonah 2:1
In convincing us of sin - Job 36:8,9; Ps 119:67; Lk 15:16-18
In leading us to confession of sin - Nu 21:7; Ps 32:5; 51:3,5
In testing and exhibiting our sincerity - Job 23:10; Psalms 66:10; Pr 17:3
In trying our faith and obedience - Ge 22:1,2; He 11:17; Ex 15:23-25; Deut 8:2,16; 1Pe 1:7; Rev 2:10
In humbling us - Deut 8:3,16; 2Chr 7:13,14; Lam 3:19,20; 2Co 12:7
In purifying us - Eccl 7:2,3; Is 1:25,26; 48:10; Je 9:6,7; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2,3
In exercising our patience - Ps 40:1; Ro 5:3; James 1:3; 1Pe 2:20
In rendering us fruitful in good works - John 15:2; Heb 12:10,11
In furthering the gospel - Acts 8:3,4; 11:19-21; Php 1:12; 2Ti 2:9,10; 4:16,17

When we encounter “troubles,” we must be patient. Trust in God. Wait upon Him. Expecting Him to work – in His time and in His way.

Like David, we must be able to say, My times are in Your hand (Psalm 31:15).

Or, I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD (Psalm 40:1-3).

1 comment:

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