Peter has been reminding us of the necessity of suffering, but suffering simply cannot be enjoyed for its own sake. Here he draws our attention to the glory that awaits us as God’s people in the presence of our Lord.
Born in 1834, Charles Spurgeon was one of the most popular preachers in London by the age of 21. His sermons were also published inwritten form. One, entitled God’s Will About the Future, was based on James 4:13-17, our text today. It was scheduled for distribution on Sunday, February 7, 1892. One week before that, on January 31, Charles Haddon Spurgeon died, 57 years of age. Considering the subject matter of the text, the timing of that event was perfect. Life is uncertain. Make the desire to please God your life’s principle driving force.
There’s a weird way in which I love instability. I’m referring to instability on a grand scale. When times and events cause people to be uncertain, when insecurity is the order of the day, when political, economic and whatever other sort of turmoil exposes the ricketiness of all this world’s structures, then our foundation of trust in the Lord can be tested and proved strong.
Peace, for example, seems to be in short supply these days. Nonetheless, the words of Jesus are still there for us to read and remember:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27 (NKJV)
But that peace needs to be taken. It needs to be received intentionally through conscious trust. And the Bible is so full of encouragement to trust in the Lord.
“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
– Psalms 32:10-11 (NKJV)
“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
– Psalms 37:3-4 (NKJV)
“It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.”
– Psalms 118:8-9 (NKJV)