TAPE REVIEW: James
by Norman Grubb
Life got you feeling down? "Good," says James. "Who does this James guy think he is?" you ask. Well, he’s the one who wrote the book of James in the Bible, and he has a few things to say about tough times. "Count it all joy?" In this two tape talk on James, Norman goes through this book, almost verse-by-verse, using his understanding of our union with Christ to answer this and other tough questions.
So how do you deal with negatives in your life? As I was beginning to write this review, I thought about how I’ve spent most of my life hating trials and tribulations or any negative circumstances at all. When I’ve encountered these negatives, I’ve been tempted to believe I was getting a raw deal from people, life, God, etc. For most of my life, I’ve believed this lie. Now I’m seeing that this temptation is necessary for Jesus to be revealed in and through us. As Norman says, it is the "negative that sparks up the positive." It is God’s opportunity to manifest Himself, the Positive, through me. Believing that Jesus Christ through me will overcome the "problem" is a choice I get to make every time I encounter hard things. As I have "counted it all joy," trials and tribulations are exactly what have brought me to a maturity of faith.
Norman keeps returning to seeing life by the "single eye of faith"–seeing God’s perfection behind the apparent contradictions of life. When we experience difficult and painful circumstances in our lives, we are presented with two pictures. Satan tries to convince us that this is the tragedy it appears to be and that we will never make it. On the other hand, God desires that we believe that He is in control and that we will triumph in our difficult times because of Jesus Christ in us. The choice is ours. In contrast to what James calls double-mindedness, the "single eye of faith" sees God determining all things for good, including the present difficult situation we’re in.
An example of being double-minded is seeing ourselves and other Christians as a mixture of good and evil. The truth is that we are joined to Christ at our spirit center. James says we cannot be a spring of impure salt water and pure fresh water. Rather, we are a pure spring with only Christ coming forth. As Norman says "We can’t be both. That’s the point. We’re pure. One."
Norman also discusses the "man who looks intently into perfect law that gives freedom." He explains that this law is Christ in us, as us. If we walk out life believing and knowing this fact, in spite of the negative appearances, we will be blessed in all we do.
Norman warns of the possibility of getting into the bondage of self-effort if we do not understand this epistle in light of the truth of Christ in us, as us. For example, "f6th without works is dead." We understand that faith is His faith and through us He will be producing His works. This is not just an intellectual understanding; our whole being will be involved,.
According to Norman, the Epistle of James is a unique book because it concentrates on the practical outworking of Christian living. Even though I’ve read this epistle several times, I found in these tapes the key to understanding James in light of our union with Christ. If you are frustrated by the trials of life, these tapes provide an excellent foundation for moment-bymoment living.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 13 No 2
- Summing It Up
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- "Having nothing, yet possessing everything."
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – The Prodigal
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – A Sister’s Faith
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – Reunion
- Tape Talk
- Questions & Answers
- The Total Remedy
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By…