Study Notes on James 1:12-15

Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the [one] who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when [s]he has passed the test and been approved, [s]he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when [s]he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by their own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. James 1:12-15 (AMP modified)

I think it is important to to point out that the word temptation is changed to trial in some translations of the Bible. I think if you remove the word altogether, you miss the weight of the message. No one likes to face the sin in their life. I personally would much rather focus on the trial I am under rather than look to my own responsibility in the matter. The way the original word periasmos is used describes the trial of fidelity, integrity, virtue, and constancy. This directly addresses trials within our own selves. Sin. The sins of others create trials for us, but I want to focus on myself first. When I can strengthen my self control, I am much better equipped to endure any trial that comes. Temptation is all around. When we turn from sin, we turn to God. It is also important to point out that God does not tempt us, but He allows the trials to refine and test our faithfulness.

The hardest part of following Jesus and trusting God is when I am faced with difficulty. Whether in a temptation, a sin against me, or even my own shame, the way I respond matters. I know that perseverance builds endurance and strength. And this is where the blessing comes in. I will be faced with the temptation to go against what is good in God’s eyes. I must choose God’s way or the world’s way. The world will accept my sin, but only God will give me peace. I believe when I stand for God and persevere with Him, the world will notice the blessings He gives in the peace and joy I share. And that is what will bring the lost to Jesus. Eventually every person must get real and honest with what is missing in their lives, and if Jesus is missing, there can be no true peace. I want to be ready to share my story with anyone God will bring me. To be ready, I must endure and persevere under the trials, choose God’s way, and I will reap His blessing to share with others.

Lord, Let my life show a graceful testimony of Your powerful love in me. Let my constancy be true and my actions be approved by You. Bring me people who need to hear my story and the testimony of Your power in my life. Let my life shine for You and use it to move the lost to be found in You. In Jesus’ name amen.

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