James 1:1-4 – The Purpose and the Glory Found In Trials

We cannot be tested without the knowledge and watchfulness of God. Just as the refiner of silver sits in the presence of the furnace, and with skilled eye watches until the fire has done its work, and then withdraws the precious metal; so God, in infinite care for His own, governs the heat, and the measure of the fire; and will not suffer any to be tempted above that they are able to bear.

This is equally true with regard to circumstances, or the world. How often we affirm that circumstances are too strong for us. That is never true. God is always mightier than the circumstances, and all the world forces which pull us downward, are also under His control. If we live in right relationship to Him, then we are mightier than all the forces of the world. “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” John is speaking there of antichrist, not as a person manifested, but as a spirit and influence. True it is that the spirit of the world is mighty, but that in us which pulls us against the world is mightier still. Consequently, while we are allowed to feel the attractiveness of the world for the testing of our life, God knows, watches, and holds in check these subtle forces; but by the Spirit He in us is mightier than the world, as He is stronger than Satan.

So also with the flesh. In the natural life there are appetites which in themselves are perfectly right, but which tend to lead astray by seducing us from the realm of law for their satisfaction. The lust of them, the desire of the flesh, pulls us from the path of rectitude and loyalty. This also He knows, and limits; and the lust of the Spirit is mightier than the lust of the flesh.

The life in us now being tested is the Christ life. We are Christians because that life is in us. Of that life Christ is Himself the sustenance. The outward expression of the life is Christ, just as its consciousness is His, so the testing of the Christian life is the testing of the Christ life in us. That life has already had its perfect victory. Therefore, if we meet the testing of the enemy in its strength, we meet it in the power of a victory already gained. Testing in that energy always issues in triumph.

If the final purity cannot be attained save by the way of testing, then we must consent to pass through it. Testing should always be approached with that cautiousness of spirit which results from the consciousness of its peril, and yet with confidence that He will finally deliver us from evil.

In brief, as Christ has given us life, and is able to sustain that life, so also is He able to make us victorious, “more than conquerors” over all the forces that are against us; and when we depend on Him in testing, whether it be through Satan, the world, or the flesh, then testing itself becomes a means of grace, a fiery process through which the dross is burned, and the gold made to shine perfectly.
G. Campbell Morgan

Read James 1:1-4 and particularly amidst the surrounding health crisis it is good to consider both the purpose of trials and the One who has sovereignty over them all. How do these verses encourage your particular struggles or perspectives in the middle of trials?

I Will Trust My Savior Jesus by CityAlight

Posted on: March 12, 2020 - 10:00PM

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