James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Over the years, I have had the privilege of doing a few in depth studies on the book, which have only grown my love.
Recently, I was given a copy of the Voice translation of the Bible and decided to read James.
One part in particular really stood out to me in a way that I had never been able to read it before. On asking for wisdom in chapter 1, this is what we are to do:
The key is that your request be anchored by your single minded commitment to God. Those who depend on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind. Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.
I italicized the last sentence because that point screams loud and clear, that if you are not all in, if you are riding the fence, trying to please all parties, you will only be left dizzy and confused. In the verses before, James speaks of how trials produce patience in us, and make us more mature. We have the opportunity to ask God for wisdom and he will give to anyone who asks. BUT, the key is the single-minded commitment to God. God often uses our trials to get us to that point of complete surrender.
James is not my favorite book because I love trials–I’m not sure if anyone loves them. However, I do love what trials produce. Maturity and completeness, patience and other godly characteristics that would not be there had it not been for a trial.
That is why I am thankful for James, and I am thankful for trials. Because I am reminded to look at the complete picture and the end result, not just the moments of pain or sorrow.