by John and Ruth Greene
Without question, life is challenging when pressures on you demand that you do the ‘right’ thing in eyes of man. You may have even been blamed for things you did not do. When you make a decision and then follow that decision, the truth is that you made the decision for a reason. That reasoning may not always be the best or even ideal by any standard, but this is part of growing in life and in your trust. Choices are often made in weakness and even in fear, but this doesn’t have to be. While not everything in life seems clear cut, the Bible gives the greatest of all advice, advice that the world around you doesn’t always appreciate or care about. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 5:31-48) What scripture actually says is often misrepresented by many to their own advantage. To really know the Bible and to achieve the discernment that you need, you first must have the willingness and desire to learn. Your willingness to listen, learn and obey are factors involved in your salvation. (Luke 11:28; James 1:22; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Proverbs 8:32; 1 Samuel 15:22; Exodus 19:5; “Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)
The society of man often distorts YHWH’s Word into an ethical or moral model that it wants to use, a clever substitute for the Truth of Elohim [YHWH]. (Proverbs 14:12; Ephesians 4:17-24) This often creates trials in the lives of those that earnestly seek to live for ‘God alone.’ This doesn’t need to create confusion. What the world around you thinks doesn’t really matter when you have YHWH’s Kingdom in your heart and His best interest in mind. (Romans 8:5-9) You live by a different standard in front of your real Father every day without depending on the approval of others. (Ephesians 5:15-17; James 1:25) Your Heavenly Father is much kinder than anything you have experienced or will come to experience in the society of man. (Zephaniah 3:17; Jeremiah 32:40) Perhaps nowhere is this expressed better in the Bible than in the thoughts of David of Israel. (2 Samuel 24:14) When he was at his personal worst, David knew that his Heavenly Father’s judgment was always better than that of any man or king. (2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51:4; Isaiah 26:3) He would rather suffer YHWH’s punishment than the punishment of man. (Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 40:11) Why is that? (“What Is Washing By The Word?“; “Disciple: Learning to Live in Trust“; “YHWH is Your Shield and Salvation“)
At times, your heart lingers around the choices that you have made in life, but you don’t need to be weighed down by the past when you repent and turn aside from sin of the past. Your Heavenly Father’s love is new every day. (Lamentations 3:22-23; Acts 17:30; Romans 2:4; 1 John 4:16; Revelation 3:3) You have at your hands the single most valuable physical tool for your life, the Bible. (Jeremiah 33:3; Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 37:4) Understanding YHWH’s desire for you, how He feels about you, and about what pleases Him is the beginning of your walk of trust and your personal relationship. (Matthew 6:31-33; John 17:26; 1 John 3:1) This is what you personally discover. Yes, you can truly discover the truth of this when you are patient with yourself and seek after YHWH’s Will, to get to know Him better through His Word to you. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; “The Importance of Practical Repentance“; “Understanding Sin“)
Certainly, this requires some repetitive quiet time, some time in your prayer ‘closet.’ (Matthew 6:6) When you learn to abide in Him, lingering in YHWH’s presence without distraction from the world, you can learn to listen to the voice of the Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit. (Luke 11:1; Ephesians 2:18) This is nothing mystical like the world would pretend it to be, but is direct and straight-forward; part of true spiritual maturity as you focus on learning what YHWH has for you to do. In the midst of this, your heavenly Father really cares for you and wants to prove His love. (“Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“)
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” – James 1:2
“My brethren, to you let there be every joy when you enter into many various temptations.” – translated from the Aramaic Peshitta
What an interesting idea. Disciples are to be joyful when facing trial. We are to count ‘it’ all joy, but ‘it’ doesn’t really exist. It is a translation device, perhaps an unnecessary one. If you were reading the original text, you might read the admonition of James this way: My brothers, consider all joy when you are surrounded by proof of discipline through temptation. (Luke 8:13; Philippians 2:12-30; 1 Peter 1:6-8; “Foundation of Salvation“; “Delusion & the Tightening Noose of the Beast System“)
You and I are to consider joy when difficulty and the temptation to give in is faced. You are to remember the good things of YHWH and the victories that you have seen, taking comfort and strength in that reality through your personal relationship through the Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit. When you do this, temptation around you doesn’t exist at all because the discipline of your trust remains firm and resolute. The trials make you stronger instead of tearing you down. (“Temptations & Tough Choices“; “Source & Solution of Temptations“; “YHWH’s Faithful: Victory in Spiritual Battle“)
You can also read James this way: My brothers, command all means of joy when you are surrounded by proof of discipline through temptation. When you abide in Messiah, His Spirit fills you, commanding joy in the most inward spiritual sense, even as you are surrounded by temptation that is common to man. The discipline and mindset of the Master that you have learned and taken to heart will strengthen you, commanding joy despite what is around you. What a fine testament to what YHWH does for us!
This has parallel in the words of Yahshua [Jesus] at Matthew 5:10-12, which would be well translated from the original text in this way:
“Supremely favored are the persecuted, on account of righteousness, because those have the Kingdom of Heaven. Supremely favored are you when you are defamed and persecuted and when all manner of hurtful words are spoken against you falsely on account of me. Be full of cheer and jump for joy, because much of your reward is in heaven; even in this way were the prophets persecuted which were before you.”
When you do what is right in the eyes of Elohim instead of succumbing to the thinking and pressures of the world, you not only give a witness before others and strengthen your trust, you hold up YHWH’s Kingdom as a banner in spiritual warfare. When you are persecuted and falsely accused on account of Messiah, you are victorious in faith [your trust], even though the world doesn’t truly know YHWH or truly understand the victory. (2 Corinthians 10:1-11) The trust that YHWH has imparted to you has given you patience, the ability to endure!
“knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” – James 1:3
“know that the trial of belief imparts patience to you.” – translated from the Aramaic Peshitta
Another way you could understand the Greek of James 1:3 is: “Know that the test of your reliance upon Messiah accomplishes endurance.” Your Heavenly Father will not abandon you as certain people may have done. (Hebrews 13:5-6; Deuteronomy 31:6-8) This patience helps you to grow spiritually as well as to help you learn to depend on YHWH instead of yourself. (Psalm 37:7-9; Isaiah 40:31; Romans 12:12) As you live this trust daily, you keep the focus on Yahshua [Jesus] and His example, (Luke 9:23; Romans 6:13) which builds you up. You don’t love the fire of refinement, but are made firmer and stronger. (Malachi 3:2; Zechariah 13:9)
“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48, MKJV
“Therefore, come to be complete, just as your Father, the One in Heaven, is complete.” – Matthew 5:48, direct translation
This refinement coupled with the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] the Master doesn’t make you ‘perfect’ in the sense that the world understands it, but complete. The Bible informs disciples that all things through endurance are for personal good. (Romans 8:28; James 1:17; 1 Corinthians 10:23) This isn’t optimism, a hollow promise or positive thinking like the mythological American Dream. This completion is real. Romans 8 specifies living in the power of the Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit in the midst of suffering and pain. All things work together for those that love YHWH. All things work together for those that are called in line with His purpose. This doesn’t apply to the worldly, the apostate or those that continually seek their own selfish desires. The Spirit builds character and what the world often calls conscience. He brings disciples closer to truly knowing YHWH’s Word and personal work. The Sanctified [Set Apart, Holy] Spirit is the mark of Elohim that binds you to His Kingdom. Despite personal lapses disciples are conformed to the image of the Messiah over worries of personal health, wealth and comfort. (“Standing Strong Through Storms“)
If this process of refining never happened, many Christians would never grow in the process of spiritual maturity. They would not know how to endure through reliance on the Father, the teaching of Yahshua [Jesus] and by depending on the understanding of the Holy Spirit. Even misery conforms disciples to the Master. If nothing else, this experience gives you the opportunity to choose, to determine for yourself whether you will continue to follow YHWH and the walk of Messiah or whether you will follow man. This is a choice that you make daily, regardless of life circumstance. (Romans 8:28; Proverbs 3:5-6) You can and will endure!
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:4
“But patience itself shall be perfected that you would be a complete work, you would not be lacking anything, and complete.” – translated from the Aramaic Peshitta
The original text reads like this: “And endurance holds a complete work in order that you can be complete and sound, lacking nothing.” When you are strengthened as you endure through the Holy Spirit, this works to complete you so that you lack nothing. The provision of your Savior makes you whole and sound in heart and mind. You grow spiritually. You grow in righteous wisdom. You come to lack nothing that you need spiritually. Totally outstanding!
Finally, we come to roots of all discipleship, the wisdom of YHWH with discernment and trust in Him. (James 1:5)
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, seek it from Elohim who ministers to all liberally and does not defame, and all will be yielded to him.” – James 1:5, direct translation
“But if any one of you is lacking of wisdom, let him ask from Elohim, who gives to all simply and does not reproach, and it will be given him.” – translated from the Aramaic Peshitta
“For the prayer of trust will heal the sick and the Master will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” – James 5:15, direct translation
“And the prayer of faith heals him, the one who is ill and raises him up to our Master, and if sins were done by him, they are forgiven.” – translated from the Aramaic Peshitta
Where disciples lack in knowledge and spiritual discernment, the Master completes us. When disciples rely on Messiah, YHWH gives abundantly as Matthew 7:7-12 says:
“Ask and power to you. Seek and find. Knock and it will open to you. For all that ask take, and seek find, and knock, open up. But what man of you is grudging, that if his son asks for bread will hand him a stone, or if asking for a fish hands him a snake? If you then being evil know the power of gifts to your child, how much greater your Father in heaven will grant benefits that ask Him? Certainly the whole as much as you are inclined to believe that men should agree with you, agree you even in this manner with them, because this is the law and the prophets.” – direct translation
Even the most evil among men are often similar to YHWH in that he is willing to supply what his child asks or desires. Since YHWH is kind and perfect, your heavenly Father that loves you, you can expect His gifts and benefits in accord with His covenant. As you look deeper into Bible truth, you come to realize that disciples do not have a casual relationship with YHWH, but a relationship and lifestyle that runs deep. While so many of YHWH’s promises are indeed conditional, despite the teachings or substitutions of many apostates (antichrist-antimessiah), your deep relationship, your dependence, your reliance on Him meets these conditions as you grow spiritually, with increasing discernment. This is the assurance that disciples have when they love and respect Him. You don’t need to doubt when your life, your heart and your mind rest on YHWH’s Word over the authority of any man, no matter how powerful any worldly authority may seem. YHWH, Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah and the Holy Spirit are all you need, despite any opposition that the world has to offer. Every translation of His Word says this, but when used together, they shout your Heavenly Father’s love for disciples of Messiah that seek to line up their lives through His Spirit. His Holy Spirit teaches those disciples that rest in Him. (John 14:26; Luke 12:12) The life of a disciple in Messiah has little to do with the authority that man’s government claims, but rather rests solely on the authority of the Messiah over the pretenses of mankind. (“Building a Counterfeit Kingdom“; “Authority: The Real Meaning of Romans 13“; “The Role of Authority in Your Life“)
To some, the idea of the Holy Spirit is astonishing, even fearful. Even the religious often consider the Holy Spirit as a loss of control. This is the voice of fear, not reality. The Holy Spirit proves YHWH’s continual personal interest in each disciple. Disciples are saved through the washing of the water of YHWH’s Word and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5) YHWH made His people alive in their Savior, true beneficiaries of His love. (Ephesians 2:1-5) Otherwise, mankind is spiritually dead in sin. Christians, His disciples are commanded not only to be baptized to publicly establish their new life, but to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:27) Abiding in this established relationship ties you to Elohim and to brothers of like trust. The Holy Spirit seals this real spiritual bond as a personal Counselor, the Counselor of true disciples of Messiah. (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22) He dwells in YHWH’s people as long as they don’t reject Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:19; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Timothy 1:14; “articles on unbelief”) The Holy Spirit guides members in the body of believers, to personally strengthen and fortify each one. (John 16:12-15) The Holy Spirit grants spiritual gifts in accord with the beliefs and strengths of each disciple. These gifts are used for the work that all disciples in the Messiah are given. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Ephesians 4:7-12; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12; “Are You Rejecting YHWH’s Holy Spirit?“; “The Unpardonable Sin“) YHWH knows the struggles that you endure. He will never leave you or forsake you, He is your ever present friend grounded with your trust. (“Joy through Prayer and Fasting“)