12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:12-15
We are called to endure temptation. It is not God who tempts us. We are tempted by Satan and his demonic army. We are tempted by the selfish desires of our sinful nature. Sin is very deceptive and if we give into temptation, we give the devil a foothold into our lives.
A crown of righteousness awaits all those who have endured with the Lord. Our decision to follow Jesus Christ is a decision to follow Him on a daily basis. If we decide to make Jesus our Lord and Savior we give our lives over to Him. We become bond servants of the Lord and we surrender our will unto the Lord. His will becomes the driving force of our lives.
When sin destroys someone’s life it is a progressive process. For in these verse James lays out for us the process. We are first of all tempted and enticed to draw away from the Lord. Then as we are drawn to temptation and sin, it begins to take root in our lives. If we continue in it it simply leads to death and destruction.
Why sin is so deceptive and so dangerous is because when we are indulging in it we think that we will never be accountable for our wickedness. But time and time again history has proven that we simply reap what we sow. If we continue to indulge and chase after sin, it will end up destroying us.
God has given us a freewill and there have been those who have begun following Christ but have chosen to walk away and return to the wickedness of the world. We simply guard our hearts from the deceptions of the devil by abiding in Christ daily. As we draw near to the Lord our hearts and minds will be guarded. We will be clothed in the armor of God.
12 And again, Isaiah says:
“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13
It is in the Lord that we hope. Jesus is our hope. He has come and fulfilled the Father’s plan and purpose. It is through His death and resurrection that He has proved that He is indeed the Son of God. All who place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ will be set free from the curse of sin and death. All who trust in Jesus will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.
No matter what we are facing on this earth we know that our hope is in Jesus. He is fulfilling His plans and purposes in our lives on a daily basis by His power and His grace. He has simply called us to abide in Him each and every day. He has called us to fix our eyes upon Him.
As we draw near to the Lord each day His leading and His guidance become crystal clear. We come to know and discern His voice and His leading. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that all things are accomplished. It is not through our own strength or our own power. May we surrender our hearts daily unto Him and keep our eyes and heart focused on the one where our hope is found.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. Proverbs 4:7-8
Our desire should be wisdom and understanding from the Lord. This comes through seeking the Lord and simply asking Him. When the Lord came to Solomon, he told Solomon he could ask Him for anything. But Solomon chose wisdom and because he chose wisdom, everything else was added to him.
Wisdom and understanding will aide us on a daily basis. We are daily presented with decisions and when those decisions are made with the wisdom of God, we will do all things with the focus on the Lord and His kingdom. Through the age of humanity the Lord has raised up and elevated His servants.
The purpose of our lives upon this earth is to bring glory and honor to the Lord. When we bring glory and honor to the Lord we point people to Him. This happens as we live each day walking in the wisdom and understanding of the Lord. His wisdom and understanding fills our lives when the focus and priority of our lives is His word and prayer. It is through simply seeking and drawing near that our lives are filled with His wisdom and understanding.