Summary: Sucked in, washed up, and blown over. That about sums up how many of us feel at times isn’t? It describes the certainty of trials and feelings of powerlessness that trials bring.
FAITH THAT WORKS
TESTING OF OUR FAITH
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said hello when ssssopp! Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie – still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do... she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. Well, she replied, Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore – he just sits and stares.
It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over... That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.
Sucked in, washed up, and blown over. That about sums up how many of us feel at times isn’t? It describes the certainty of trials and feelings of powerlessness that trials bring.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:1-18
Ancient letters always put who it was from at the beginning, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
James who? James was one of the four brothers of Jesus mentioned in the Scriptures (Matthew 13:55 and Galatians 1:19). Mary and Joseph had four sons, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, and daughters (not specified how many) after Jesus was born.
When we first find James in Matthew and Mark, he along with the family are not in favor of Jesus’ ministry. Matter of fact, they want him to come home.
The next time we find James is when Jesus appears to him after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7). I would have loved to hear that conversation as James’ opinion of his brother radically changes.
James is then with the 120 on the day of Pentecost as they are filled with the Holy Sprit. Then, by the middle of the book of Acts (chapter 15), we find him as the leader of the church at Jerusalem.
Trouble had come to the church! After the stoning of Steven, great persecution had broke out, and the believers had been dispersed.