When trials hit us the enemy of our souls usually isn’t far behind. To begin with we may be strong in the Lord and draw on his grace and wisdom, but as time goes by and the trial continues perhaps we begin to get worn down and a change begins to take place….. Lurking in the background and waiting for an opportune moment the enemy sees his opportunity and begins to drop a variety of thoughts into our hearts and minds, with one intention – driving a wedge between us and God.
Suddenly doubts appear about the sovereignty of God – is he really in control, does he know what he is doing, do I really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Suddenly thoughts begin to infiltrate and permeate our minds casting doubt on the love and goodness of God – if God really loved me he wouldn’t allow this or he would stop it straight away.
In fact if the enemies activity is not recognised and dealt with he will keep pushing and pushing until we find ourselves doubting even the very existence of God. He comes for no other reason, that to rob, kill and destroy.
Come in James…
When James wrote his letter that’s exactly what he was dealing with. Because of various trials they had begun to have their doubts and they were being tossed this way and that. Because they had lost sight of God prayer was now religious and empty and not relational and powerful. Because of their doubts their faith had taken a nose dive and was private and inward instead of public and outgoing.
James in the first chapter simply reminds them that God is good and not begrudging and that with him there is no shadow of turning (1:5, 17). That he is the one who gave them/us new birth and that he is our Father, and he counts us as his prized possession (1:17, 18). That though what we are going through is extremely trying, God is in control and he has a purpose in it all (1:3, 4), and that he wants to give us what’s required for the trial to lead to a crown ((1:5, 12). He tells them that God has already spoken his saving/delivering/rescuing/healing word (1:21). Some chapter! Some mighty encouragement!
Has the trial got the better of you? Has the devil been lying to you? Has he driven a wedge between you and God? Have you begun to have doubts?
Turn again to the Word that he has spoken and believe him – he will not reproach you.