Speaker: Jerry Cisar
It is not uncommon for believers to think that troubles are the enemy of our souls; that troubles and difficulties not only hinder our walk with God but may evidence that God is opposing us. Conversely, there is the tendency to assume that a comfortable season of life is not only what we need to get close to God, but also evidence of His closeness and blessing.
However, as Dan Allender and Tremper Longman write (The Cry of the Soul),
“The absence of tumult, more than its presence, is an enemy of the soul. God meets you in your weakness, not in your strength. He comforts those who mourn, not those who live above desperation. He reveals Himself more often in darkness than in the happy moments of life.”
Yet, this experience of growth in Christ, meeting God in our mourning and desperation, is not automatic. How we respond effects the outcome.
James began his letter on the topic of trials and our need for endurance in the midst of those trials. There the emphasis was on our need of endurance so that we might mature in our faith into Christ-likeness. Last week, in James 5:1-6, trials of a unique sort surfaced again: injustices perpetrated by the rich. This weeks text, James 5:7-12, addresses the believers response to those injustices. How are we to respond to injustices we suffer? How are we to respond to injustices others suffer and which we seem powerless to do anything about?