“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Pandemic and political strife has brought great tribulation upon us all. Here in America we are beginning to experience the suppression of not merely religious speech but our religious values. We are being threatened to by the media and the cultural elite as well as the federal and local government authorities who label some of our religious and Biblical values as hate speech simply because we proclaim that sin is sin and that Jesus is the only way to be right with God.
Thus the message of Apostle James is appropriate for us to read. James called the church to persevere in times of suffering and persecution. Christians will endure persecution and tough times but because they have been given faith and are members of the Kingdom of God, so we must not give up or lose heart. We will receive God’s certain wisdom and strength to help us endure without compromise or despair.
As the Patriarch Abraham learned, God is faithful and true, always reliable, unchangeable and good. We can always rely on Him to do what is right even in the midst of pain, sickness, suffering, deprivation, pandemic, violence, and persecution. This is because we rest on God in Christ, our sure rock, a firm foundation in the midst of chaos. This is a vital yet foreign message to our contemporary culture which rejects absolutes (a paradox in itself). Many people do not believe in the God who reveals Himself in the Scriptures. They want a god who is just and loving as our God is, but one who lets them do whatever they want without consequences or accountability. And so billions worship a god who is aloof, changeable, and capricious.
The world is in chaos and people are seeking for firm anchors in philosophy, fame, sensuality, and wealth, things which will not help or satisfy. They seek advice and wisdom in astrology and mystical religions which put the self at the center. James reminds us that God has made all there is and He does not change. He can provide sure and certain wisdom if we are humble enough to know we can trust Him absolutely.