Every phase of life is a new beginning and a learning step in God’s School. These include our school days, our career, and choosing a life partner. The last phase is death.
As we begin our physical lives as a baby, we also begin our spiritual lives as babes the day we accept Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord (Jn. 3:16). The next phase of life is very important. It is our learning years. It is during these years, that we react to the circumstances that come into our lives and form the person that we become.
God has given his children a text book. It is the Bible, God’s Word. God has sent the Holy Spirit to live within us to help us understand what is being read. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who the Father will send in My name He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Jn. 16:26)
God wants us to ask questions: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…” (Jas. 1:5). A wise student will learn all that is obtainable to advance their career. They will study text books with interest and determination, knowing that the more they learn, the further they can progress in their vocation. As God’s child, we need to go through God’s school with interest and determination, to grow closer to the Lord and be more like Him in our attitude and actions. It is necessary to learn God’s Word to know what pleases and displeases Him. There we also learn both God’s conditional and unconditional promises. A smart student will ask the teacher questions until what is being taught is understood. When studying God’s Word, we need to ask, “What does it mean?” and “How can I apply it to my life?”
The Book of James is a very practical for the Christian life. James gives instructions on responding to trials and temptations, hearing and obeying God’s Word, and how faith and good works go together. He also instructs on controlling our tongues, making proper judgments, and being patient. The more a person reads and studies God’s Word the easier it gets to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). As we meditate on it, we will grow spiritually (2 Pet. 1:5).
God also tests our faith through delayed answer to prayer. A boy named Will was visiting his grandmother. For five days he heard the train whistle and rushed to the tracks but was always late. On the sixth day he read Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.” This time when the train’s whistle sounded further away, Will said, “God is calling us to see the train.” After the train passed, he exclaimed, “God gave more than abundantly. He gave me a two hundred car freight train to watch.”
Realizing God’s answer was more than he expected, he thanked God and told other people about his experience. Let’s be like Will when God delays answering our prayers. He always has a reason. It might not be the right time or He has something better for us. He also teaches through circumstances. Some we like but many we do not. However, there is always a perfect purpose for them.
May we learn the lessons God wants to teach us as we “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18). Let us strive with determination to be more like our Lord Jesus Christ in all we do.