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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Importance of Words

Beth Moore, in her James Bible Study, has challenged us to memorize the entire book of James.  I began this process last night.  There are many cool things about memorizing Scripture. My very favorite part of memorization is that the individual words of Scripture come alive.  These are words that I have read many times and somehow have skipped over their meaning. 

James 1:2 is a fine example of this. 

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,”

I know myself well enough that I could break down every word verse by verse but then I would be on a rabbit trail and crazy.  So I am committed to only do a word study as specific words stand out to me.  The word in question in the above verse is trials. 

Now in my mind, when I think of the word “trial” I think of an untrue accusation coming again me, a situation where I am tempted to defend or help myself. 
Some examples would be; negative words about me, circumstances out of my control happening to me, loss of a job, tornado, floods, hurricanes, abuse from a spouse or parent, etc.  I think of a trial of something that happens outside of myself to myself. 

This is true.  The word trial means all these things but, my friend, the word also means so much more than what I have listed above. 

The King James Version of the Bible uses the word “temptations”. 

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”

A temptation, for me, takes on a different meaning than the word trial.  But a temptation is always present within a trial. A temptation is something I am enticed to do.  A temptation is something appealing to the flesh.  A temptation would be something I choose to do that goes against the Lord and His word. In every trial (something outside of myself that affects me) I have a temptation to be angry at God or trust Him. I have a temptation to turn away from Him or surrender to His sovereignty.  I have learned in this passage the word is interchangeable-the same.  In other words, it means both and all.

The Srongs definition is; “A putting to prove by experience of a good or evil.” (Trial, Probation, Testing, Being Tried, Temptation, Calamity, Affliction)  Another great way to look at this word is; “An attack with an intent to destroy”

So let’s read this verse differently now.  “Count it all joy when you fall into various temptations.”  I’m not sure about you but I don’t have many people accusing me nor have I lost a home or family member due to calamity.  But I do face temptation daily.

From the moment I awake I am tempted to sin in my heart or in behavior against the Lord.  This takes on a new meaning for me.  Let me give you a bobbie-ism.

Count it all joy when you are tempted to sin because you have a choice of either surrendering to that sin or surrendering to Lord.  Count it all joy, you have an advocate the Lord Jesus Christ who was tempted as you are tempted and without sin.  Understand we are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desire and enticed. James 1:14

Friend, temptations will come but count it all joy, you have a choice and God has made a way of escape.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinth 10:13

If we read on in James 1, we will learn these trials/temptations have their perfect work.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials/temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

Friend, take time to mediate and memorize a passage of Scripture.  God will give you new understanding as you think and pray upon His word. 

Aaron has given us a 30-Day “Inside-Out” Prayer Challenge.  Maybe you choice to mediate and memorize the verses he has laid out for you each day.  I’ve listed below a link to his blog that can take you to the challenge.

 

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