James 1:12-15

James 1:12-15 -God Never Temps Us


James 1:12-15 -G
od Never Temps Us

  • [12] Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
  • [13] Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
  • [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
  • [15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (KJV)
  • Check out full chapter here: http://www.biblegateway.com
Hand drawn picture of Jesus with outstretched arms and a Bible in left hand.  Text says Today's lesson on needs vs wants.  Is taken from James 1:12-15
James 1:12-15

Who tempts us?

Many people believe that God, as a loving God, should not allow bad things to happen to his children.

God loves us and doesn’t want bad things to happen to us. However, when the enemy comes along with a temptation, we have the God-given right (free-will) to either go with it or stand against it.

We should never accuse God of bringing unrighteous desires upon us. He does not tempt us – the enemy does!

We need to be very careful of temptations. Satan tries hard to keep us in sin. In many instances, when tempted, we find ourselves giving in, and that when the problems start.

Our Earthly desires

Our earthly desires tends to put us on a path, where we no longer rely on God. Instead, we rely on ourselves, believing we are capable of getting everything we think we need. Usually these temptations are “wants” rather than “needs”. We accept the temptation and then blame God when they get too heavy to carry.

An example: We want a new car and the financing doesn’t work out. What do we do? We go place to place, desperately in search of getting our own financing and sure enough we get it. God knew we weren’t in a position to handle a new car payment, but we wouldn’t listen, the pull and compulsion were very strong.

Soon the payments become heavy enough that we turn away from God, blaming him for not helping us in the first place and now for not getting us out of the situation that we are in.

James writes to struggling people

James (the half-brother of Jesus) is writing to people who are struggling. Although they are Christians, they are miserable and find their lives full of hardships. They are blaming God!

James tells them that the problems they suffer are due to their own selfish desires. Earthly longings that we feel do not come from God.

He encourages the people; that instead of moaning about the difficulties, be joyful that they are learning important lessons. James tells them to turn to God in faith and gain strength from Him to deal with all they are going through.

The followers who can live in joy and peace and, continue to depend on Christ, in all circumstances, (good and bad) will be rewarded for their faith.

God will reward faithful followers with the crown of life at their death. That is to say, God has promised eternal life to those who love Him.

Picture of blue arrow pointing upwards words on it say Given by God
Red arrow points downwards with words Given by Lusts.  Large text says
needs temptation wants
James 1:12-15

My Prayer for James 1:12-15

Much honour to you FatherJehovah – Shammah – The Lord is There

I confess to you Lord, that I have been enticed and lured away from you on many occasions.

In those times I have wanted something that seemed never coming and so I have chosen to follow a wrong path to “make it happen”.

Over time and through many trials, I am now maturing in my walk with you. Do I always make the right choice? No! But finally, I am learning how to handle my impulses. Thank you Lord for your love and grace as I grow.

I am finally at a point where I realize

  • Satan will tempt me.
  • And, I must be prepared for the temptations of Satan.
  • Even as a Christian, I am susceptible towards sin and I must learn to overcome temptation.
  • And I know that it is up to me to assume personal responsibility for the choices I make.
  • I realize that when I fail, I must repent and stand strong in faith, without complaint.
  • I am aware that I must put on a happy face. I am not to moan, groan and complain about my situation but to be happy that I am learning a valuable; albeit hard lesson.
  • I recognize that during these times I must not turn away from you. Because, if I do turn away that gives the possibility of me continuing down the wrong path. One that would lead me away from you altogether and bring me eternal death.
  • I understand that I must turn immediately to you. Especially in times of temptation.
  • Regardless of my situation, when I stay close with faith in you, I will be rewarded with the crown of life – eternity with you.

Thank you Lord.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

  • An unknown author wrote:
  • Happy are those who remain faithful under trials because, when they succeed in passing a test, they will receive as their reward, the life which God has promised to those who love Him.

God asks us to follow him, however, we are never forced to do so. Psalm 32: 8-10

When We Are Burdened

Matthew 11:28-30 – When We Are Burdened

Matthew 11:28-30 – When We Are Burdened

  • 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
  • 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
  • 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
  • Read complete chapter here: http://www.biblegateway.com

I have used these same verses on the blog Prayer for Salvation but felt the Lord urging me to take it in another direction. I find it fascinating that God’s Word can touch so many different aspects of our lives.

Hand Drawn picture of Jesus with outstretched arms, holding a Bible in left hand.  Text:  Today's lesson in When We Are Burdened is taken from Matthew 11:28-30
Matthew 11:28-30

If we are still carrying heavy burdens by ourselves it’s because we have not given them over to The Lord. He will always help us, but we must ask. At times we either forget God or immediately turn to others instead.

The worse situation is when the enemy gets into our space and convinces us not to trust The Lord. So, we continue carrying the burdens, hoping for a solution of our own making.

I have heard people say “Just give it over to the Lord” or “Let God carry it for you” or ” Trust in the Lord”. I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I asked God how I could accomplish it.

This is what He told me…

  • He loves me in a way that no human could ever love me.
  • I was loved before the foundation of the earth and will be loved into eternity.
  • Because of his great love for me, when I ask for help, he will take my hand and guide me.
  • The Lord will help me learn how to handle my problems, however; he will not just take them away.

As I began reading and studying scripture and learning more about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I came to realize that in all times and in all circumstances, I am to talk to God. Thank him for whatever I am going through; good or bad. No that’s not an error, we must be thankful for the difficult times as well as the good. The difficult situations are the times of growth, something (believe it or not) that we usually end up being thankful for.

“Just let it go” was not easy for me.

  • Knowing all of this, I tried to lean on the Father.
  • I like to plan and have everything happen in the order I think it should be in.
  • Staying on my time line, from beginning to end, without complications.
  • There was always a plan B,C,D and E as well.
  • Always believing I have everything covered. Lol.
  • But every time my plans failed, (as they did quite often) panic would set in.

I really thought that I was giving the burdens over to God, but unfortunately, I was still holding onto them (or at least some of part of them.) After years of trying and failing, I got so frustrated one day that I gave up and said (from deep inside my soul) “Okay Father, you do it!” It was at that point I finally realized God would truly lead me and guide me and I learned let it all go.

Now, here’s how I face a situation

  • Now when I encounter a challenging situation, I take a deep breath and attempt to relax.
  • I coax myself not to panic, but to remember that God is in control and I am his child.
  • He knows what is happening and that gives me the confidence to follow wherever he leads me.

Most often that leading takes me straight to the Bible, to his Word. I look up passages regarding my situation and I read, meditate and pray over them until I feel a peacefulness come over me.

The more I take in his word, the easier it is for me to believe for a good ending to the situation. Even before I see it with my eyes using faith. If I slip up and say or think something like “I’m not sure this will work” I immediately command the thought of non-belief to leave me immediately and I thank God that he is in control.

Then I draw in closer to the Lord

  • Repeating verses like: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
  • Listening to and sing songs that speak the word of God.
  • As I lean on the words (either said or sung)  they go deep into my soul and then I find it much easier to rest in the Lord.

I also do exactly what my Heavenly Father tells me to do, no matter how strange it may appear to me. (Please do not do something that goes against the Lord’s Will because that is not what I’m saying).

However, if God leads me say, to bundle up and go for a walk, then I’ll do it. If then I get a feeling to stop somewhere and just wait outside on a freezing cold day, I’ll do it. It may not make sense to me but God may have me bump into someone who has just the perfect answer to my dilemma.

Nothing appears to happen

Sometimes I follow God’s lead and nothing appears to happen. I’ve now learned, that’s okay too because God works in mysterious ways. I would just go home when feeling that I should. However I keep the faith that something did happened, even though I didn’t see it with my eyes.  God is in control!

The Lord may place a commercial or a magazine article or any number of other methods which may lead me in the direction he wants me to go. My job is to keep my eyes, ears and souls open for signs.

Sometimes our burdens are just meant to draw us closer to Him. Every situation is different. I believe that everything we go through; good or bad, has a reason and will add value to our heavenly bodies, one day.

So to recap:

1 – Accept Jesus into our heart. Allow him to be our Lord and Saviour. We will never regret our decision.

2 – Pray and tell the Lord exactly what our needs are. He already knows but maybe he wants us to pray, so that we can learn to separate our needs from our wants. Are our wants according to his will?

3 – Thank the Lord for working on our prayers and tell him we will wait on him to lead us, regardless of how long it takes. This does not mean to sit at home waiting for a job to drop into our laps. It means to go out and look for a job but also to watch for messages from God.

4 – Be careful what we think. We must not listen to the negative thoughts we may encounter. We must put a stop to them immediately. Cast them out by saying something like “I am a child of God and in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I command you to shut up and leave me now”. Then replace those bad thoughts with good ones, like… “Thank you Lord for watching over me and working on my situation. I will wait in peace.”

Stand strong and wait in faith

In the hard times we are to ask for help and for understanding. Also it helps to pray that we can stand strong in all circumstances. Pray for the Armour of God every day helps us.

5 – Be contented as we wait! Important part! Being content shows us and others that we have faith in the Lord. That is to say, that even when we are going through possibly the worst time in our lives, we can have faith that God will bring us through it.

Many people believe you are never to talk about what you are going through. I was once one of those people. However, I know now that you should never be fake in your demeanor.

If we need to talk to someone about our situation, do it.

However God does not want us to walk around, dragging our feet, telling absolutely everyone all of our problems and looking like the world is collapsing in on us. It may be doing just that, but when others see a Christian downtrodden, they immediately may think “hey, where is their God now?”

Of course, it depends on the degree of the circumstance – losing a job doesn’t even begin to compare to losing a child, but overall I believe it’s better for us not to be sad and glum. Rejoice in the Lord!

Fake enthusiasm is also not to be used. (Again, once guilty of that). By knowing that God is in control we don’t have to “fake” feeling good in all times. If we truly have the peace of God that passes all understanding, we can stand strong in the Lord.

6 – Praise the Lord for what he is about to do. Sing to him. Praise him. Thank him for working in our lives and for helping us to stay focused on Him, instead of on the problem.

Remember that God does not bring the bad times on us. We are living in a world of sin and there will be consequences.

However God does use our trials.

The Lord will use our hard times, to teach us important lessons. Sometimes our situations seem as though there will never be an end to them. The important thing to remember is that God is aware of what we are going through and it will be much easier if we learn to lean on him at all times.

In difficult times we are to ask God our Father, for help and for understanding. And we are to pray that we can stand strong in all circumstances. Wearing the Armour of God Pray for the Armour of God everyday helps us to do just that.

Important to note

Just because we are God’s children and have prayed, does not mean that our Heavenly Father will remove the burdens. It means that he will continue to stand right by us, (he will share our yoke) while we go through them. Having the faith and the support of God, will allow us to not to be weary but to have rest.

7 – If and when the situation has been resolved we must give praise and thanks to the Lord! As he never leaves us alone. He is ever present and knows exactly what is happening. Furthermore, he will give us the strength to get through it all, when we lean on him.

Our Heavenly Father is willing to help us bear our load, if we are willing to give it over to him?

Picture of a girl sitting in a chair, curled up reading a Bible. Text:  Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:26-30

My Prayer for Matthew 11:28-30

Divine Father

You are an awesome God. Every day you look after all of your children. You lead us, guide us, watch us and monitor our situations. We are so blessed Lord, thank you.

I pray Father that this message will touch people’s hearts and that they will understand that we can stand solid even during times of tribulation.

Is it easy to lean on God? At first, absolutely not! Can anyone do it? Absolutely yes! We need to follow your Word and we will learn that with you Lord in our corner, we can stand strong against any situation.

Thank you Father for loving and giving me peace and faith in you, each and every day.

All for the glory of God!

In Jesus’ name. Amen

Psalm 69:1-6 God is there even when we don’t see him.

Learning Through the Scriptures – Romans 15: 4

Romans 15:

[4] For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)

romans-15-4

The author, Paul, is saying that the Old Testament scriptures weren’t written for only the people of that time frame but were written for the teaching of all people, regardless of the era.

God has kept the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) alive and well read for centuries. Why? He intended for all people to learn from his Word, finding comfort through the reading of events and experiences of others.

The Bible demonstrates how God’s people stood rooted and learned to praise him in all situations. With biblical understanding, we can also grow in His ways and learn to keep a smile on our faces and hope in our hearts, as we walk through all phases of life, with peace.

Dear Father in Heaven

Thank you Father for leaving the Bible for us. It is full of information that teaches us, through accounts of people’s lives and their stories, how we are (and sometimes are not) to handle all the different events of our lives, good and bad.

By reading the scriptures I can see where mistakes were made and how some people grew through their choices and some didn’t. However I can definitely see your hand at work in every situation of every generation written about.

Help me Father to continue studying the Bible and learning through the lessons I read. Help me to listen and be guided by the Holy Spirit, to live as Jesus taught and to always remain close to you in prayer.

Thank you for loving me as you do. In the name of Jesus.

Amen

hallelujah

Habakkuk 3: 17-19

When afraid, Praise God – Habakkuk 3:17-19

Habakkuk 3:17-19

  • 17Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
  • 18Yet I will rejoice in theLord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
  • 19TheLordGod is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
  • Read complete chapter here: www.biblegateway.com
When Afraid, Praise God - Habakkuk 3:17-19
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Habakkuk 3:17-19 – The Prophet Habakkuk has a vision

Jacob had 12 sons. Juda, the 4th son, became the leader of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, which eventually became a nation. The bible speaks more of the tribe of Juda than any of the others.

Habakkuk, a prophet of the tribe of Juda, was given a very graphic vision of disaster. One that made him almost collapsed at just the thought of what was to come upon the people. Especially, at the hand of the Babylonians.

Habakkuk saw everything dead or taken. There was no food, no water, nothing that could keep the people alive. Thousands upon thousands would die.

Every vine, every crop taken and the rest burned to the ground. All livestock gone. All possessions ransacked, with the Babylonians taking what they wanted. What they didn’t take, they would completely destroy. Habakkuk saw that there was absolutely nothing left. And then at the end of this pillaging, the Judean’s left, would become the captives of the Babylonians.

Habakkuk is in agony knowing what is coming.

Habakkuk knows that God is allowing the destruction and that it will happen. He understands the people deserve a time of judgement because of the way they have fallen away from God. What worries him most? That God is going to use the Babylonians to show the tribe of Judah just how far they have drifted. Habakkuk worries, knowing it will come at the hand of Nebuchadnezzar’s army, who are known to cause total destruction and take captives.

Although Habakkuk is devastated by his vision, he knows that if God is bringing this type of judgement, then the people deserve it. Furthermore, there is nothing he can do to stop it, even if he calls out for God’s help.

So what does Habakkuk do?

He praises God!

“How can he possibly do that?” Habakkuk has faith that God is a just God. Although he is not happy with what lies ahead, he can find peace that God is a sovereign and just God. Therefore, he begins to praise Him.

Habakkuk has no idea when these events will happen. He goes to the people prophesied the events that will take place. Then praises the Lord in spite of what the future holds.

Habakkuk wants to give the people hope of better things to come. So, he praises God and speaks of trust in Him. He wants to encourage the people to have hope, even when everything looks disastrous. He wants them to have the attitude of “not my will, but your will”.

Habakkuk rejoices

Habakkuk rejoices in the Lord, declaring that God is his strength. He claims that he will not slide, but will have a good foothold and will stand strong. His desire is to lead the people by faith.

The last verse (and he will make me to walk upon mine high places) may mean that God is taking the people to places they didn’t want to go. However, they can have a good foothold and stand in faith and strength. They can believe that God will deliver them from their trials eventually.

The NIV Bible interprets it “He enables me to walk on places I could not go without his help.”

Habakkuk 3:17-19  When afraid praise God. Prophet Habakkuk has a horrific vision. Picture of a deer standing in fallen leaves.
When afraid praise God – Habakkuk 3:17-19

My Prayer for Habakkuk 3:17-19

Almighty God,

I bless your holy name. You are the eternal King.

Although hard, Christians must always have complete faith in you. In spite of the situation, we need to remember that you are always in control. You know exactly what is happening and you know the outcome.

Like Habakkuk, it is my desire to praise you and glorify you in all times and situations. Because you know what is best for me, even when I don’t. You know what is truly buried in my heart and what needs to be worked out.

I know Father, that in your holiness, it is impossible for your children to live in sin and rebel against you. I know, that although it grieves you, you are willing to allow me to go through troubled times.

By allowing the Babylonians to go through a time of disaster, they realized that they needed a shaking up. Many times after we come out the other side of a situation, we can see your reasoning very clearly.

Like Habakkuk, may I always find the strength to praise you, no matter what I’m going through. Help me Father to never slip so far away that I need a lesson like the tribe of Juda.

In the name of your blessed son, Jesus Christ, I pray Amen.

We need to make a sacrifice to become cleansed.

Perseverance – 1 Peter 1: 6-9

Perseverance 1 Peter 1:

[6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
[7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
[8] Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
[9] Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (KJV)

Peter is saying that living on this earth is just for a season, not really long in the scheme of time.

Even though, we (who are living now) have never seen Jesus, we have all that we need to know in the Bible. It explains how to keep the faith and believe that Jesus is exactly whom the Bible tells us he is.

Yes the Bible tells us that we will go through difficult situations but those are allowed as a teaching tool to build our faith in Jesus.

We are to stand strong, knowing, with faith, that he watches over, leads and guides us through the good and the hard times. We can rejoice that we know the Lord and know that he is always in control of all things.

Faith is more precious than gold. Gold can be melted and so at the end of time it will mean nothing and have no value. But as long as we keep our faith, the Lord will never fail us and our faith in him will always remain valuable.

Upon His return to earth, Jesus, the King of all kings, will call to those who have believed and kept the faith in Him and we will follow Jesus and live eternally with him.

Divine Lord,

Thank you that you are who the Bible says you are. You are God our Father, the creator of the entire universe and beyond. You are Jesus, the son of God and the Saviour of the world. You are the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us, reminding us right from wrong and how to use Gods word to fight the enemy. Many, many people cannot believe in you because they cannot see you.

Some may say “well I asked him for something and I didn’t get it” or (and this I believe is the most common) “I asked him to show me a sign of his existence” and nothing happened.

The Bible says those who can believe without seeing are blessed. A lot of people want proof before they will believe but God, you want our hearts first.

When we believe with faith, you Lord fill our hearts and souls with your love and we are transformed. In our love and joy for you Lord, we can’t help but believe with a deeper faith. It’s a never ending circle of love.

Then on that day when Jesus returns to earth, our faith will be rewarded and we will be swept away with Jesus (in His full glory) and we will live forever in His presence.

Thank you Father that I can have faith in you right now without seeing you in the person, knowing that that time is coming soon when everyone (both believers and non-believers) will see you for who you truly are. God!

I will praise your mighty name now and forever.

In the precious name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen

Perseverance – James 1:

James 1:

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (KJV)

James is addressing some of the men of the twelve tribes. He is telling them that they will be going through trials but in their faith in Jesus, they can count on these trials as good things.

James is saying that although things may look bleak, they can always find some silver lining in their lives. Or they can remember the trials that they have already gone through and remember that at the end, when they looked back on it, they are able to see how patience, trust, faith, belief and love could been seen as a result of it.

James is encouraging them to stand strong and telling them that although they should be patient, they should not be standing still waiting for the trial to end but moving forward, with the faith that everything will work out for the best.

My Lord,

You are in control of all things in my life and I know that includes the times of trials and temptations.

You don’t cause them but you allow them and when they happen, it’s always for a reason.

Knowing that trials are allowed to bring patience into my life, I’m supposed to count it as a joy when trials appear. It doesn’t say I’m supposed to be joyful but I am to remain positive to get through them without grumbling and complaining.

As I do this my faith will grow. As it grows, I will become a more patient person in other areas of my life.

It’s a tough job to stay positive and remain happy and in faith, when everything seems to be closing in around me.

I need to remember that you said WHEN trials come, not IF trials come. This shows me that they will come and I need to be prepared and stand in faith through them.

If I grumble and complain then I’m not learning and growing. Lord, you didn’t say I’d have to BE happy during these times, only that I should count it as happy and grow in these times in patience.

It’s my job to turn to you and thank you for all that is happening in my life at all times, whether good or bad, knowing that the trying of my faith works patience.

Father, this is a tough one to get through, so I pray that whenever I’m am in a situation that I don’t like, let me feel your love, despite what I am seeing and going through. Help me grow through the experience.

Thank you Father that you allow me to go through trials which help me become a better person.

I praise you that you always know what’s best for me and love me enough to help me grow.

In the precious name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen.