Notes from Norman
By Norman P. Grubb
In the very beginning he says, “Now what we are talking about is the trying of your faith that works patience, that you may be perfect.” He jumps all the background. “You are to have plenty of joy and plenty of trials.” The very first step my brethren is that you will find total joy and total trials. SOME STATEMENT! Why? Because the trial being the point of the negative, strengthening you in affirming the positive. You cannot affirm a positive without a negative. You cannot see the dawn unless it swallows up darkness. You can’t cook a sweet plateful of something, unless it has swallowed up the non-sweet element. It always has to be that way; it is the law of opposites. One works the other. Now notice the word “work”. It says here “count it all joy when you fall into diverse trials, knowing that this trial of your faith worketh patience.”
Patience is the constant recognition, “It is God.” Patience is “endure as seeing the perfect will patience.” Moses had patience, he endured. Endure is rather a tough word. I like the word endure and joy better; it is a mixture of the two. You enjoy enduring. Endure is seeing through to His blessed patience. “I am seeing Him.” It is not so hard to endure when you can see Him: You know that He is pretty good. I endure, “OKAY, I’m enduring as seeing Him Who is invisible.” That is a contradiction in terms. That’s Moses. That is probably the perfect statement on patience given in the Bible. It says here “that trials worketh it.” Work means produces it. You can’t have one without the other. Patience isn’t a sort of something to help me, it is necessary, it works, and it produces. We cannot have the steady walk in the visible unless it works in us, the unsteady pulls of the other kind of life, the trial life. One works the other. Like Paul says, “The life of frictions works exceeding for us with the Eternal way to glory. Tribulation worketh patience.” So it is very significant. So we need to relate the two. You cannot have one without the other. You can’t have the positive unless it has the background of the negative which is swallowed up. The two make the one. You can’t have the one without the two.
It says here that God cannot be tempted with evil. He can’t be tempted by evil because evil is the opposite. Evil, of course, is self ¬centered-self instead of the expression of God which is self-giving-self.
So there is a place where the Eternal Person must have swallowed the opposite. The opposite must be so much the hidden basis of the positive that it is non-existent. I take it that is the life that we go into.
That is why it says “God cannot lie” He isn’t bothered with lying. He isn’t tempted to lie, doesn’t count it, It isn’t there. We know a little of this, in our experience of being “saved.” Our sins don’t bother us. They have been swallowed up, they were there and they condemned us. They have disappeared as we see ourselves in the Blood of Christ. We just aren’t bothered “by once a sinner” except to praise God that I am not now. So we have a little taste of where the positive swallowed up the negative.
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