Live in Light of Eternity
James has given much attention to the responsibility of each believer in Christ to approach the trials and temptations that will inevitably come upon us with the expectation that God will use them for our good. Each test or temptation is an opportunity to make us face our sin. They are always a chance to put bold faith in God's transforming power to work through the new life in Christ birthed within us. Having taught us how to take full advantage of trials, James now turns to the great value there is in seeing our lives in light of eternity. Riches await those who have faithfully endured the struggles with our fallen nature, a fallen world, and the devil. They are promised a glorious entrance into heaven.
Conversely, for those who held tight to their sin, judgment is at hand. Those who have gained wealth by oppressing the poor are warned that they will soon be judged, James warns, "Behold, the Judge is standing at the door" (v. 9). Those who have suffered injustice from the rich are warned to be patient, for God will soon reward those who have faithfully endured injustice just as surely as He will judge their oppressors.
Rather than live in bitterness and hate toward our oppressors, in faith we are to leave them in the hands of God. We are not to passively wait for Christ's return in despair at our current plight in a world opposed to us. Instead, we are to act in faith as we face each obstacle. In suffering, we are called to turn to God in prayer. Prayer can bathe us in God's grace to soothe and comfort our troubled souls. We are called to take each cheerful experience in life, no matter how small, and use it as a springboard to lift up praise to God in psalms of adoration.
When sickness or sin overtakes us, we are to call upon godly brothers and sisters to pray for us. We are promised that God takes pleasure in bringing healing to our bodies and our souls. Prayer is truly our great resource in bringing God's Kingdom to bear upon the difficulties of a fallen world. For example, James reminds us of Elijah, a man like any other, who came to God with a sincere, passionate heart. Covered in the righteousness of Christ he was able to see mighty things happen in answer to prayer.
Lastly, James calls us to look out for each other when one of us strays from God. We are not called to attack or condemn, but to restore such a person by bringing him under the abundant grace of God—grace that covers a multitude of sins.
James has taught us that rather than be weak, passive victims, we are to boldly face the trials, temptations, and failures we all experience. Each trial, temptation, or failure is God's opportunity to transform us when we embrace those situations in active faith. The judge is standing at the door! Therefore, let's live out our brief lives with active, bold faith that takes on the trials of life as bread for our spiritual transformation.
-Calvary Church Boise
Created over 1 year ago