James 1:2-3 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
My friends, I offer you a brief but important warning today. Some will not like this, for it may seem to attack some of the more user-friendly translations of Scripture. Still, the truth needs to be spoken. Our Text for Today is from the KJV Bible. Look closely at what it says. You can “count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations” when you KNOW something in particular. That something in particular is “the trying of your faith worketh patience.” How can you count it joy when you fall into different kinds of temptation, testing, and trials? You MUST know something. The something you must know is that you also have as a part of God’s armament, PATIENCE. This PATIENCE of which I write is already in you. It is the power twin of faith. It is patience, that when released and applied Biblically, which produces the experience, or the manifest answer to your prayer.
I urge you to be aware that some Bible translations, while I am sure they did not intend to do so in the translating, weaken many commands and instructions by using words that do not carry the full weight of God’s intention. This is the case with our Text for Today. Many translations tell us the “testing, or trying of our faith produces perseverance,” or “you learn to endure by having your faith tested.” Dear reader, please consider what I say to you now. Such statements are misleading at best, and may well be considered completely false. To use such statements to an intelligent person in the military, or to someone who wants to become a championship boxer would be laughable, and considered dangerous to anyone who would put them into practice.
You don’t arm someone and put them into combat to make them into a good soldier, or test their capacity to overcome an enemy. Such an action would be utterly ridiculous. Someone once said, “rough seas make good sailors.” NOT SO, my friend. Good sailors are made when they are trained by those who are already good sailors. That old adage I shared does not make “good sailors,” it makes “dead ones.” Or look at it in this manner. Would you put someone in the ring with Mike Tyson in a full-on fight to teach them how to become a boxer? How utterly ridiculous.
Trials and tribulations DO NOT COME to make you strong, regardless of what songwriters have written. They come to stop the Word of God from working in your life. If you have not learned to box at a high proficiency before fighting with a champion, you WILL lose. If you have not learned to be a good soldier, you will NOT be trusted by army leaders to take a weapon into battle. Let me say it as clearly as possible. The trying of your faith DOES NOT teach you to endure or produce perseverance. What it DOES DO is put your patience to work. There is a great difference. Be aware. Study!
Manna for Today – James 1:1-8; Romans 5:1-5; Galatians 5:16-26; Mark 4:1-20