James 4 – A Test

1 From whence come wars and lightnings among you?  Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren.  He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Strong words from James.  I decided to post the whole chapter, even though the verses that stuck out to me were 7 and 8, partly because there’s a “therefore” in the middle of them and you need the background to fully comprehend, and partly because there might be other people who need to hear different verses from this chapter.

James wrote us a book of tests, as I learned when my father taught it several years ago, but he tucks comforting nuggets in the middle of those tests too.  He’s a no nonsense kind of guy, but I like that.  He’s just telling it like it is.  And we can’t measure up on our own.  I rather think the key is hidden in verse 8, where he bids us draw nigh to God.  When we do that, He draws near to us, and in that process, we become more like Him.  And only He could ever stand up to these tests.

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2 Comments on “James 4 – A Test”

  1. smiley Says:

    It is quite a challenging chapter isn’t it? But I like challenges. However, I think in a way it is a comforting chapter at the same time. Don’t you think it amazing how God shows us our problems, where we go wrong but He also shows the way to deal with it?!

    • Challenges are the tools God uses to grow us closer to himself. If we didn’t have to climb, we’d never leave the valley, never reach the mountaintop! And you’re right, God never leaves us in despair, but always shows us the Way of hope. Aka, Jesus! And He is in the business of renewing us to be overcomers like Himself.

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