Whether you are a Christian or not, you WILL go through trials. The moment we rejected God and chose Satan in the Garden of Eden; we signed up for trials and misfortunes. There is no getting out of it nor avoiding or sidestepping it: Satan makes sure of that. We are faced with these struggles whether we are directly responsible through our actions or not. The book of James in the New Testament tells us how to deal with these trials:
- Embrace your trials because God will bless you if you don’t give up, and endure to the end
- The crown of life is eternal life with God after this life is over
- All those who continue to love God through their trials and do not give up will receive this gift of life
When we go through struggles and challenges in life we like to blame someone for this even when it is directly our own fault. More often than not the world likes to blame God. James tells us here to stop blaming God for our shortcomings and for the bad things that happen to us.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
I have heard Christians say that because they didn’t pay their tithes, God made something bad happen to them and they had to pay all their money to fix the problem, so God was punishing them for not paying their tithes! Or God made them get sick as a punishment for something they had done wrong. Or when marriages fail; if God didn’t want them to get married He should have stopped them…the list of accusations go on and on! Somehow, we manage very well to shift blame onto God. But the book of James tells us that we of our own free will, lust after things. We have a great desire to have what we want regardless of the cost which is sin; and when conceived in our hearts it brings forth sin!
God is life, He does not sin and is not sin, so He cannot give us the fruits of sin. Sin is from darkness (Satan), and God is the “Father of Lights,” so His gifts are always good and perfect. God gives life! He will never stop being who He is, to consult Satan for some inspiration on how to punish us and make our lives a misery; then after He has inflicted pain on us He goes back to being a loving God! He will never do that. God never changes and never deviates from being who He is, and James confirms this in the following verse:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
There are no shades, shadows, darkness or variations in God, He remains the same always. The Book of Malachi in the Old Testament 3:6 confirms this: For I am the Lord, I change not;
When we follow our desires, and fall foul of life, the Lord does not interfere in our choices. He has given us free will. If He didn’t step in to prevent Adam and Eve from disobeying Him, He won’t step in now to force us to do His will. You cannot tell someone they love you, they have to tell you themselves and they have to show it through their actions. No one who values the love of another will try to force that person to love them, it has to be freely given or it means nothing. So, God will not make bad things happen to us so that we will chose Him, He allows us to make our own choices.
But God’s grace is so amazing that when we make the wrong choices and get ourselves tangled up in the thicket or when life throws us a curve ball; we can always go to Him and ask Him to help us out of it. Unfortunately we are so impatient that if He doesn’t respond as quickly as we would like, we go off and get ourselves caught up even deeper in the thicket.
The message from James, is to not blame God for the situations we find ourselves in, but instead to go to Him in prayer and tell Him all about it. Ask Him to help and guide you out of the situation. Definitely do not give up when you are going through trials and don’t get so desperate that you do things to make the situation worse. Once God is in that situation with you He will bring you out of it while using it to strengthen you; ready for the next one… yes it’s a lifelong cycle!