Maturing in God's Wisdom
July 24, 2023
The world sees persecution as a bad thing to go through, but persecution is something Paul said when we live a godly life we will be persecuted.
2 Timothy 3: 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
When we live a godly life, we need to be aware that we will be persecuted for loving Jesus. We need to understand that people in this world do not accept those who are godly but will persecute them because it attacks what they value in this world. They see you as an adversary because you are not for them but against them.
To overcome persecution, we need to mature in our faith by persevering in our trials.
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James said we should be joyful when the Lord tests our faith with all kinds of trials and one being persecution because that is when you will have an opportunity to persevere with the wisdom you received through the Holy Spirit’s teachings of how to obey Jesus and remaining steadfast to its end then you will mature in your faith becoming like Jesus.
James 1: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James said if you lack Godly wisdom, you should ask God who wants to give anyone who wants it abundantly. Because godly wisdom comes through the maturing of your faith by persevering in your trials it is not asking God to give your more trials to go through.
You ask God to give you wisdom to recognize the trials you are in and to help you persevere in them with the teaching, counsel and guidance of his Holy Spirit through Jesus’ teachings and commandments.
And to keep you from doubting the Holy Spirit teaching and not be double minded, to resist and recognize any false teaching that corrupts God’s truth which will make you unstable and unable to persevere in trials making you weak willed and unable to acknowledge God’s truth.
James 1: 9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Sometimes our trials are with ourselves when we cannot discern when our point of view is worldly or Godly when it comes to being rich or being poor. In Deuteronomy, God commands us to be thankful that he is the one that gives us the ability to prosper.
So, wealth is not wrong if you know who owns your wealth. As servants of Jesus, we need to always see ourselves as poor servants because everything we have belongs to God the same way Job saw his wealth.
God wants us to be rich in our inheritance waiting for us in heaven and not on earth because James said it is the poor who will inherit God’s kingdom.
James 2: 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Those who love God, God will make rich in their faith knowing they will inherit his Son’s kingdom and their love forever in heaven.
So, while we wait on earth, we are called to be good stewards of God’s wealth which make us persevere in times when we go through trials dealing with the riches of this world.
James 1: 13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.
There will be all kinds of temptation we will go through which are trials we must confront like Paul did with his coveting which he fell to and sinned because coveting is an act of the mind which Paul repented from. Sins of the mind can be hatred which is murder, lusting for someone other than your spouse, and envy.
When our spirit is being tempted, our flesh begins to persecute our spirit to give in to our temptation and sin that will separate us from God.
But Paul teaches that God will provide a way out of our temptations.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Jesus is faithful by providing his words that will provide a way out of our temptations and stand up to them. Paul repentance was assured by his faith in Jesus’s words of his forgiveness of his sins and that God’s grace was enough for him to overcome his physical suffering.
God words gives clear counsel and guidance for us to overcome and stand up to all our temptations.
James 1: 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
This good and perfect gift from God is his Holy Spirit that he has sent to all who love his Son. The Holy Spirit is the light of God’s word which is the same yesterday, today and forever so that we do not remain in the shadow of darkness of not knowing the light of God’s truth.
We are God’s first fruits that has been reborn as a new creation in Christ who received the Holy Spirit that helps us overcome all our temptations, trials, and tribulations when we trust and obey his teachings.
James 1: 19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Godly wisdom comes by being patient and listening with the ears of Christ and do not listen to find fault or insults but listen to hear and speak words that heal, correct, admonish, strengthen, encourage and comforts to bring all back to Jesus as their Lord.
Becoming upset when we hear something we dislike and quickly speak out with anger does not bring out the righteous life God desires.
As servants of Christ, we are called to listen first seeking understanding and not to speak with anger to defend or retaliate but speak to bring clarity if there is a misunderstanding especially when it is with your brothers of sisters in Christ.
Jesus holds the church to a higher standard of wisdom when there is a dispute in the church family. Our mind and words must be true to Jesus’ teachings with the goal of being obedient to his Father’s will and purpose for his Son’s body.
James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
God’s blessings come to those who obey Jesus’ teachings and commandments in all situations good and bad. We need to always remember the blessings we receive from God is what is good and pleasing to him and not what is good and pleasing to us.
James 1: 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
We will be blessed when our words and actions glorify our Lord Jesus so watch what you say and make sure it is what Jesus wants you to say. And let your actions be pure and faultless by having the same compassion Jesus had to help those who are in need especially those in the family of believers.
Galatians 6: 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
So, let us joyfully mature in our faith by persevering in Christ in all kinds of trial we go through every day.
Your brother in Christ, Glenn.