The first chapter of James has a strong message concerning temptations. Verses 9-10 are keys to the message. "Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted. But the rich in that he is made low."
The brother of low degree or the humble man, humbles himself to God's will and stands against the temptations to quit serving. Even though he is surrounded by evil on all sides he endures, he stands in the middle of it all. Then after that he has suffered a while, the Lord will exhalt him out of them all.
The rich man is also told to rejoice. He is to rejoice in that he is made low or humbled. Why? The proud man will dry up and leave away like a flower in the hot sun. (James: 8-10)
I Corinthians 10:13 states, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. " If we know that God is going to lift us out we can endure. This is our hope.
This scripture says that God with the temptation will make a way of escape.
Paul stated in II Timothy 3: 10-12, "But thou have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. "
Also in James 1: 13-14 they are told who brings the temptations and how they enter into them. "Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God can not be tempted with evil, neither tempteth any man.
Temptations are from the evil one, not from God. God does not bring or send suffering on his own people to teach them. Man brings them on himself because of evil desires in weak areas of his life.
Satan will not tempt people in strong areas of their lives. He always looks for weakness. Jesus said that the strong man must be bound before the thief can enter into his house and steal his goods.
Satan presents temptation for one ultimate reason: To get man to quit. Look at Jesus' temptations in the wilderness. Satan tried to get Him to quit serving God and worship him. He tried to Get Jesus to quit fasting by turning stones to bread. He tried to get him to sell his birthright for a morsel of bread. He tried to get Jesus to kill himself by jumping off a cliff.
Satan's ultimate purpose in tempting any man is to get him to quit serving God. He is looking the prideful in heart. Proverbs 16: 18 states, "Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 18: 12b states, "Before honor is humility." Humble man will end the temptation to quit and in due season be exalted.
James 1:12 states, "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 1:25 also brings out the point of endurance to the end. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." The key to exhalation is enduring to walk in a state of lowliness of heart.
The Psalmist David cries this very message to the Lord in Psalm 131: 1-2, "Lord, my heart is not haughty nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise my self in great matters, or in the things to high for me. Surely I have behaved and quitted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Blessed is the man who hope the Lord is. (Jeremiah 17: 7).
A humble man has every right to hope in the Lord. What is our hope. lt is a crown of life which the Lord has promised to them that love him.
James was writing to people that had been deceived by their own lust and desires. They were rejoicing in what they thought to be faith. James showed them the error of their ways. James 1:16 states, "Do not err my beloved brethren." James closes the book, James 5: 20, Let him know, that he which transformeth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
God loved the 12 tribes so much that he wrote them a letter of correction to preserve their lives. Whom the lord loves He corrects, not with trials but with the word.
Humility to do God's will is our strength. Jesus came not to do His own will but the will of Him that sent Him. When Paul humbled himself to do God's will in weakness the power of Christ rested upon him. This is the only way that Christians can experience the full power of Christ in their lives. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that you may be exalted in due season.
Some things that James was addressing as needing correction because of their own lusts:
- Rich men walking in their own ways 1; 10-11
- Filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness; 1:21
- Despising the poor by having respect of persons. 2: 1-4
- Not meeting the daily needs of the people. 2: 15-16
- Hyprocisy with the tongue. 3: 8-10
- Strife and envy. 3:14
- Fighting among brothers, lust, killing. 4: 1-2
- Friendship with the world. 4: 4
- Speaking evil one of another. 4:11
- Trading to get gain for self, putting oneself before God, reflecting of own deeds 4: 13-16
- Heaped treasures together for hard times, held back pay from others, lived in pleasure, nourished own hearts with evil, condemned and killed the just. 5: 1-6
- Grudging against each other. 5: 9
- Taking oaths to themselves against others. 5:12
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