I’ve been studying the book of Joshua, and the main theme has been God’s faithfulness to his promises. Over and over God said (beginning all the way back in Genesis 12 to Abraham) that he would give the people of Israel land in Canaan. Over and over in Joshua, God promised to fight for Israel and to give them the land. Multiple examples are given in the book, showing exactly how God did fight for Israel and drive out the Canaanites. And then we have all the lists of the land allotments for the tribes—cities upon cities that were now Israel’s.
As I read and thought about God’s faithfulness to his promises, my mind drifted to James 1. My husband has been preaching through James on Sunday mornings, and I realized that there are many promises there too. There are specific promises of God’s giving too. God gives wisdom to those who ask for it. He gives wisdom so that we can understand that the trials we encounter are to be viewed with joy because they work steadfastness and spiritual growth and maturity. That takes faith in God and wisdom from him to view trials that way (verses 2-8).
God also promises to give eternal life to those who persevere under trial. This requires understanding the nature of God correctly. He is not the one who tempts us to sin under trials. Rather, he is the one who is (as my husband pointed out yesterday) “always, only good.” He gives only good things, and he will always give only good things because he never changes (verses 12-17).
We can be assured that all that he gives is good (even when we need a faith-based wisdom to view these trials as good), because he has given us the best “good thing”: our salvation (verse 18).
I think we can have more faith to ask God for wisdom (thus preventing us from being unstable doubters; verses 6-7) when we know more about the God who is faithful to give what he has promised. I can know God is working trials for my steadfastness because my faith is increased in the God whom I’ve seen be faithful to his promises to Israel.
“You know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14).