“ In many things we offend (stumble) all” (James 3:2).
This word of God through James is the description of what the Christian is when he is not kept by grace. It serves to take away from us all hope in ourselves (Romans 7:14, 23 Gal. 6:1). Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling….be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever (Jude 24, 25).
This word of God in Jude points to Him who can keep from falling and stirs up the soul to ascribe to Him honor and the power. It serves to confirm our hope in God (2 Cor. 1:9; I Thess. 2:16, 17; 3:3)
“Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Pet. 1:10) This word of God through Peter teaches us the way in which we can become partakers of the keeping power of the Almighty—the confirmation of our election by God in a God-like walk (vv. 4, 8, 11). It serves to lead us into diligence and conscientious watchfulness (Matt. 26:41; Luke 12:35; I Pet. 1:13; 5:8-10).
For the believer, it is often a difficult question as to what ought to think of his stumblings. On this point he ought especially to be on his guard against two errors. Some become discouraged when they stumble; they think their surrender was not sincere and lose their confidence toward God (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:35). Others take it too lightly; they think that it is normal. They show little concern about their stumblings and continue to live in them (Rom. 6:1; Gal. 2:18; 3:3). Let us permit these words of God to teach us what we ought to think of our stumblings. There are three lessons.
Don’t let stumblings discourage you. You are called to perfectness; yet this does not come at once. Time and patience are needful for it. Therefore James says, “Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire.” (Matt. 5:48; 2 Tim 3:17; Heb. 13:20, 21; James 1:4, I Pet. 5:10). Do not think that your surrender was not sincere; acknowledge only how weak you still are. And do not believe that you must continue stumbling; acknowledge on how strong your Savior is.
Let stumbling awaken you to faith in the mighty keeper. You have stumbled because you have not relied on Him with a sufficient faith (Matt. 14:31; 17:20). Let stumbling drive you to Him. The first thing you must do with a stumbling is to go with it to Jesus. Tell Him of your stumbling (Ps. 38:18; I John 1:9; 2:1) Confess it and receive forgiveness. Confess it and commit yourself with your weakness to Him, counting on Him to keep you. Sing continually the song, “To Him that is mighty to keep you, be the glory.”
Let stumbling make you very wise (Prov. 28:14, Phil. 2:12; I Pet. 1:17, 18). By faith you shall strive and overcome. In the power of your keeper and the joy and security of His help, you shall have courage to stand. The firmer you confirm your election, the more conscientious you will live in all things only for Him, in Him, and through Him (Ps. 18:30 ; Rom. 11:20; 2 Cor. 1:24; Phil 2:13). Doing this, the Word of God says you will never stumble.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, stumbling and falling do not bring glory to your name. You are mighty to keep me from stumbling. Yours is the might and the power. I take you as me keeper. I look to your love which has chosen me, and wait for the fulfillment of your Word, “You shall never stumble.” Amen.