We are pilgrims on this earth; our true citizenship is the Kingdom of God in heaven.
Every country has their own cultures and traditions, similarly, the Kingdom of God has her unique cultures and traditions; and as the citizen of God’s Kingdom, we must have her good cultures and traditions intricately interwoven into the very fabric of not only our daily lives, but also our very being.
And one of the thing that distinguishes us from the people of the worldly nations is the Wisdom from God.
Bible Passage: James 1
James wrote this epistle to the dispersion of the twelve tribes outside Jerusalem, their home country.
In foreign lands, the Jews had to put up with the cultures and traditions of the Gentiles. Being the minority in these foreign lands, they might have to face rejections, ridicules, and even persecutions.
But on the other hand, the Jewish minority in the foreign lands might also face with temptations of all sorts. These were the reasons why James admonished them to endure trials and also to resist temptations.
The lessons we can learn from this epistle from James are many, and in this first chapter, the very first thing that we can learn is that enduring trials must be done with the wisdom from God.
This is because when there is no godly wisdom, trials would be extremely difficult to bear and may result in doubting God. But when we face trials with the wisdom from God, these trials would in turn allow spiritual growth in us.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
- V. 12
And about temptations, when we realize how good God is to us, we will have no interest in the temptations the enemy puts before us.
We have to obey the many so-called rules and regulations that God has given us through the Holy Bible. When we were immature in our faith, we would always see these rules and regulations as rigid restrictions to our lives; but can we allow ourselves not to grow spiritually as we busk in the love and grace of God daily?
God made the Israelites to understand the purposes of His commandments.
And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.
Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.
Deuteronomy 6: 24 – 25
Yes, God always have our interests in His heart. It is for our benefit that He gives commandments to us so that we can follow and not fall prey to sin.
So when we can appreciate God’s love through His commandments, we will grow from saying, “I CAN’T do this or do that because it is bad and the Bible doesn’t allow me to” to “I REFUSE to do this or that because it is bad, and I LOVE MY GOD, I REFUSE to hurt Him”
So God’s words are commands of love, and we must esteem them and put them into practice, and as what elder James admonishes us in this chapter,
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Let us all be diligent in our faith, constantly pray for spiritual wisdom to face trials and temptations that may come our way, and let us
“hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”
2 Timothy 1: 13 – 14