This is the last Sunday of our current preaching and Bible study series in the epistle of James. Throughout, we have been reminded and challenged by James that true faith works itself out naturally in our words and actions. If we truly believe that Jesus is the Christ, and are fully convinced that his teachings bring abundant life, then there should not be a gap between what we believe and what we practise.
For many, if not all of us, when asked, we will say that it is God who provides and sustains. However, somewhere inside us, we will still remain convinced that we are on our own and have to ultimately rely on our own wisdom and practical know-how in conducting our everyday lives or even in the way we serve God.
As I contemplate about the trust issues we have, I wondered how that might have looked like for the ancients. Besides the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea, mentioned in last Sunday’s sermon as examples of seemingly senseless and impractical persevering trust, Noah must have ranked among the top to appear illogical to his peers. Who builds an enormous ship on land without any means to bring it into the waters? Likewise, Abraham’s servants probably deduced that their master had gone mad when he started on his three-day journey to offer sacrifice to God without bringing an animal along. And Moses ranks high on the list of those who faced the greatest interpersonal struggles involving trust. Who dares to lead a whole nation into the desert, even at the directive of God? Time and again, the Israelites blamed him for their troubles in the wilderness. But God is faithful. Through his obedience, they tasted bread from heaven (Ex. 16), drank water from a rock (Ex. 17:1-7), and experienced constant protection from the elements (Ex. 13:21-22).
And this really puts everything we do in perspective. If God’s will through his Word is clear, why are we still hesitant in doing them? If we are to put our trust in our own abilities and in human logic, how will we grow our trust in God and experience his heavenly wisdom? Like Noah, Abraham, and Moses, we must be willing to be audacious in going beyond human wisdom, believing fully in God’s wisdom. Let us affirm that following His words is in fact the most practical thing to do. Let us be people who dare to trust fully the Wisdom from above.