In studying the book of James, I am struck right away by James the man. He was Jesus’ half brother, and apparently didn’t believe in His deity until after the resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:7 we find that Jesus appeared to James after he rose again, not to rub it in his face, but to call him to follow. He took on leadership in the Early Church, as seen in Acts 12:17 when after Peter’s angelic jail break he says “Go tell James.” James, the brother of John, had just been beheaded by Herod. James also took on leadership with the Jerusalem counsel in Acts 15.
So my thoughts have to do with God’s timing in our lives. There’s this Greek word “Kairos” which has to do with time. There are two parts to it: chronological or fixed time, (chronos) and the right or opportune moment.
James could have beat himself up about missing getting all he could have from Jesus during the first 33 years or so. I think of people who become Christians later in life that might think the same thing. I’ve heard them grieve this, doubting themselves and God. But God has this time thing in His sovereign hands.
Jerry Bridges writes in his book, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, that there are three essential truths we must believe about God if we are to trust Him with our lives:
- God is completely sovereign (can do what He wants when He wants)
- God is infinite in wisdom
- God is perfect in love
We must trust God’s timing and perfect work in our lives. My brother in law always says “If it’s and nuts were candy and nuts, Christmas would be year ’round.” We have to give God our if’s and but’s. Acts 17:26-27 says that God establishes our boundaries and our times so that we would seek Him and perhaps find Him. So He works according to His timetable to bring us to Him and to accomplish a purpose He has in store.
Psalm 31:15 states “My times are in Your hand.” May we be able to say that with trust in a sovereign God who works the kinks of our lives for specific purposes, just like with James.