Summary: The message looks at the life of a believer and identifies 5 qualities of life.
The Right Perspective
A few years ago my neighbor was going to sell his house and move to a larger house with more land. He and his wife were very excited in the beginning and even put down a very large deposit. They kept their house because they needed a place to live while the newer house was being built. If all else failed, he could rent it and not lose anything.
He loved to go to the work site. He watch as the land was cleared, plumbing and electrical appeared from the ground, and the foundation was poured.
As many of you may know, the next phase was the "framing". Soon the two by sixes were being put up. It was going to be a strong house with that dimension of lumber. He began to notice something he didn’t like; the measurements were off, some by one inch, others by as much as four inches. The supervisor’s comment was, "you won’t notice it once the drywall is taped and textured".
No matter how much he asked, they wouldn’t correct it. After his final plea from the owners themselves he refused to purchase the house. Of course he lost all of his deposit, a year’s salary to most of us, but he refused to buy his and his wife’s dream house if the frame was crooked.
Why would he do such a thing? Because he knew the framing was almost as important as the foundation. Anything that he wanted to hang in the future would be a risk because the framing varied throughout the house.
1. Framed By His Word
As believers, we start with a solid foundation in Christ, but how many Christians do you know that seem to live life on a roller coaster? Unfortunately, I know quite a few. James reveals to us the solution to this problem. The solution is to frame your life according to the Word of God.
We have promises in scripture about trials and troubles. Why do I mention trials, because most believers "freak" when life goes crazy with problems.
We looked at how to begin framing our life last week in James 1:2-6. We have a written assurance from our Lord that it’s not all for nothing but that He is at work in everything that happens, even problems. It says,
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.
This assurance is also found in Romans 8:28. It says,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Again we are assured by His word that ALL things (including the trials) God works for good. Our outlook on life is through this "frame". No wonder we can be joyful and worry free. We know in whatever, the Lord works it all to our benefit.
I am sure you have met people and believers whose lives seem to be in constant turmoil. James says that the immature Christian (one who is not trust in God’s word) is like a ship tossed on the waters by the wind.
The one who trusts in the Lord doesn’t go up and down constantly because they have the frame of mind and heart according to His word.
2. Humility Required - v. 9
The next step in acquiring the proper "frame" is a spirit that is humble. The biblical definition of humility is to simply see yourself through the eyes of God and His word. God is God and we are not.
We realize that no matter who we are we are all in the same boat. All of us are lost and in need of a savior. None of us has got anything "under control". As a matter of fact we learn in humility that we have no control or say in much of life except how and who we will respond to, in other words, choice. James 1:9-11 says,
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.
When you "ain’t got nuttin or no one but Jesus", He’s all you have in life. Everything else gets in the way of the relationship with Him. Or, worse yet, the wealth, riches, or power will be your Savior in tough spots when you need a way out. Also, it will all pass away anyway.