Summary: Learn to understand the meaning of trials and understand that God is at work in spite of your circumstances. He requires simple trust in Him.

The Christian Attitude toward Trials and Temptations

Text: James 1:1-16

I. Count it joy when trials come your way.

This is not possible until one realizes that God is in control and has a purpose for each circumstance that we face. The sinner has nothing to be joyful about when difficulties come to him. Vv. 2,3 tell us that God’s design in allowing trials to come to us is to cultivate patience by the testing of our faith. When everything is going just as we plan, our patience and our faith can become weak. God allows us to face difficult times because He desires for us to be strong in faith and patience. He says we need to let patience have her perfect work. Patience needs to become complete and entire in our lives.

II. Ask for Wisdom

A. God’s Promise—liberal gift of wisdom.

Wisdom does not always come all at once. God will abundantly supply all the wisdom we need for every circumstance we face, but sometimes He gives it to us in the form of experience. He brings us through exactly what is needed to strengthen our dependence upon Him. God promised not to rebuke us or belittle us when we ask Him for wisdom.

B. God’s requirement—Unwavering Faith.

He that wavers in his faith will be unstable like the waves of the sea. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 10:22-23 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful that promised).”

James 1:7 tells us that a man with wavering, unsettled faith should not expect to receive anything he asks for from the Lord. Faith is the requirement for receiving wisdom or any other need from the Lord. This is why God desire to cultivate our faith. This is the reason He uses trials to remind us of His faithfulness and of our need to be completely dependent upon Him.

Verse 8 tells us of the double-minded man. This person has a divided heart. This person’s loyalty is somewhat to God and somewhat to having everything his own way.

“The divided heart is not the way to triumph in trial. If we are only halfhearted, we get only half help—or less! We shall be like a wave of the sea (6), at one time rushing toward the shore of fatih and hope, at another rolled back into the ocean of unbelief. In our dealings with God there must be no double-mindedness, wanting partly our own way and partly God’s way. Such instability is the mark of a double minded man…, a man of divided affections and unsubdued will, wishing to secure both worlds. It is this double-mindedness which keeps a man from finding joy in his trials, and it is the same dispostion that will block him from getting the help that he needs from God. A man must believe with all his soul that there is help in God. On the basis of this unwavering faith a man may count on receiving the gift he seeks—it shall be given him" {see footnote 1}

III. Know the difference between trials and temptations.

A. Trials

>Circumstances that are designed to draw us closer to God.

B. Temptations


1. Are permitted by God, but do not come from God.

James 1:13,14 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”

2. Are impulses to commit sin in order to fulfill some inward desire.

There are natural desires that are a part of being human beings. We are born with a desire for food, a desire for love, a desire for acceptance, etc. All of these desires are normal and good. Satan likes to offer a sinful solution to these natural internal desires. There is nothing wrong with having money. Satan will take the natural good desire for financial gain and bring about temptations to steal, cheat, murder, or whatever other method possible to achieve the goal of having more money. The desire for gain is not wrong in itself if it is going to be used properly. Temptation is the perversion of a good desire in which a person is being enticed to fulfill that desire in a sinful way. Every good thing that God has already promised to provide for us, Satan tries to entice us to accept a lesser substitute for the good things God has for us.

Verse 16 “Do not err”

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