“Humiliation” Word Study: James 1:9-11

“Humiliation” Word Study: James 1:9-11

A Biblical word study in ESV. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

James 1:9-11 — “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass[c] he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”

MacArthur commentary for James 1:9-11: boast. This word refers to pride in a privilege or possession; it is the joy of legitimate pride. Although having nothing in this world, the poor believer can rejoice in his spiritual standing before God by grace and the hope which that brings (cf. Rom. 8:17-18; 1 Peter 1:4). his humiliation. Refers to the rich believer’s being brought low by trials. Such experiences help him rejoice and realize that genuine happiness and contentment depend on the true riches of God’s grace, not earthly wealth.

“Patience” Word Study: 2 Peter 3:15

“Patience” Word Study: 2 Peter 3:15

A Biblical word study in ESV. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

2 Peter 3:15 — “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him…”

MacArthur commentary: “…during the time of God’s patience, Christians should engage in seeking the salvation of souls.”

It appears that I have a long way to go in understanding and embracing patience and humility. Even as I study, the familiar flashes of ideas of how God might use me to do BIG things and make a name for myself (i.e. maybe out of this study I’ll write a best-selling book) distract me like tired mosquitoes buzzing in my ears. May God completely re-purpose my heart, and with it, my idea of serving and of success.

“Patience” Word Study: 1 Timothy 1:12-16

“Patience” Word Study: 1 Timothy 1:12-16

A Biblical word study in ESV. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

1 Timothy 1:12-16 — “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

I wonder how Paul got to the point in his heart where he truly considered himself the “foremost” of sinners. He did persecute Christians, yes, but our fallen human nature–together with the voice of the enemy–tends to prevail in our hearts (or at least in my own) by creating a mental comparison between ourselves and those who are ‘clearly’ worse sinners. I’m sure Paul could have done the same and sought worldly consolation of his offenses. But he seems to hold fast, as far as we can tell, to his profession. This is an example of true, God-given humility.

Starting Over

Starting Over

railroadI am in a dry spell. I read or hear the Scripture, and it means nothing to me. My faith right now feels like it is defined by deadness. I still believe, but my belief is an unoccupied shell. I am surrounded by new creations alive in their growth, and how I envy them—how I envy the prior version of me that was alive, too. But my faith was rooted in pride. I see that now. I interpreted Scripture through a lens that brought me constant assurance that I would go on to be a true hero for the Lord, bravely going where few Christians had dared in the name of ministry. As a youth, I looked up to David and Timothy from a place of expectation. I never wanted to be a Christian whose only experience with outreach is to just show Jesus through actions, not words. This seemed a cowardly waste to me. Imagine my disbelief, my defiance upon realizing that God is not opening doors to bold missions. He has given me a comfortable, blessed life, to be sure, but it is not what I have been preparing myself for. It seems to me that my only hope at preserving the fragile flame within me, once a blazing flare, is to make this season one of study in patience and humility.