Henry Mahan Lessons in I Peter Lesson 2

Lesson 2
James 1:6-12

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 6.) "Let him ask of God" (Vs.5). If we desire grace under trial, ask God. If we desire patience and wisdom under trial, ask God.

"But let him ask in faith." We must not only go to the right place, but we must approach him in the right manner – believing! Faith in the existence of God, faith in the power and purpose of God and faith in the wisdom and will of God are essential to prayer (Heb. 11:6; Matt. 22:21). "Nothing wavering." We must not waver (doubt) about the thing asked for, nor whether it is right to ask it. That should be determined before we ask!

(Vs. 7, 8.) The unsure, wavering man (who is in today and out tomorrow, divided in his interests, and whose heart is not fixed toward a definite commitment to Christ and his will) can receive nothing from God; he is double-minded, uncertain. He is inclined to God and to the world. He has a desire toward God, but a reluctance to let go of the world. He wants the grace of patience, but not the trial which is necessary to the grace. He wants to be used of God, but in the way and place he chooses. He wants the crown without the cross. Such a man may not be a hypocrite (pretending to be what he is not), but he is simply unsure, unsettled and uncommitted! Job said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." A divided heart is attributed to lack of purpose and lack of faith.

(Vs. 9.) "Let the brother." We are brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not just a title. It is a family relationship! The ties and bonds of grace in the blood of Christ are deeper and stronger than those of nature. Brethren in Christ are closer than brothers in the flesh. Theirs is an eternal union (1 John 4:7-11).

"The brother of low degree." The low degree refers not to his spiritual state. He is a brother without wealth, property, influence or earthly rank. Let him rejoice that in Christ he possesses true riches, true greatness and true rank. He is a child of the King, a priest, a king and an heir of all things (Matt. 11:11; James 2:5,6; 1 Cor 1:26.29). He is also an equal brother, or, rather, he is the most important! (1 Cor. 6:4.)

(Vs. 10.) "Let the rich brother rejoice." Let this brother rejoice that God has taught him the grace of humility! The natural tendency of wealth, talent and position is to fill men with pride, self-importance and vain glory. Happy is the leader, the wealthy, influential brother, who has learned:

(Vs. 11.) The sun comes up in a burning heat and withers the grass and the flowers. So shall the rich, worldly-minded man wither and die in the midst of his pursuits. Riches and worldly recognition are uncertain and only vain show. Beauty, strength and health shall decay and die. Sometimes they fade and die in a man"s lifetime, but always in his death. Only a spiritual knowledge of Christ, an interest in Christ and hope in Christ shall abide (Heb. 13:8; Matt. 7:19, 20", 6:31-34).

(Vs. 12.) The one great object of these verses is to comfort and direct believers who are subjected to heavy trials. These trials are from the Father and are for our good. They reveal faith, strengthen faith, promote patience, make us useful servants and wean us from this world. There is a temptation in all trials to doubt the love of God, to rebel against his hand, and even to turn back. Happy is the man who stands up under trials, for when God has put him as gold in the fire, when God has purged his pride and proved his faith, when God has revealed the true grace and confidence of his heart in Christ, he shall receive the crown of life. It is called a crown because of the glory of it, which will be on both the soul and body of the believer. It is called a crown because we are kings. It is called a crown of life because it is eternal life that fadeth not away (1 John 3:1-3; Rev. 5:9, 10).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.