This whole concept reminds me of a great C.S. Lewis quote I read 15 years ago. Will we or will we not do the right things when we are tempted or tested?
Every obedience to His prompting is as C.S. Lewis said,
"the capture of a strategic point from which a few months later you may be able
to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in
lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from
which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible."
Basically, Lewis is saying that by obeying we are setting ourselves up for future success.
How can we pass the tests and trials of life? Enter the reminder:
Verse 5 tells us if we lack wisdom we should ask God for some. Why is it that we over think or fret when all we have to do is ask God for wisdom? He will give us a generous amount of wisdom and not think we are weak or dumb having to ask for it.
There is a small catch. When we ask, we are to ask not doubting because as verse 7 says, "the person who doubts should expect nothing from the Lord." In fact, according to James, doubters are double minded and double minded people are unstable in all ways. (verse 8)
There will be more about wisdom from James in Chapter 3. For today I will just summarize these first eight verses from James 1:
- Count your trials as nothing but joy.
- You need these trials to become mature in Christ.
- By obeying you get more endurance which prepares you for the next trial.
- If you don't know how to respond to the trial or test, ask God to give you wisdom.
- But once you ask, don't doubt because that just sets you up for instability.
Note the words in red italics. Strong stuff!