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Summary: This message is designed to demonstrate that there is purpose in the trials God allows us to endure.

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2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Introduction – One of the most difficult questions at times like this is the question of why. Why did this have to happen now? Perhaps some of us have been taught that it is spiritually “taboo” to ask God why we must endure certain trials. Yet I am reminded that God is a loving and caring Father who does not abandon His children in their quest for understanding when the seasons of life suddenly and often abruptly change. (Elab – essentially Job asked why, and God gave an answer)

He knows we have feelings. He knows that changing life circumstances often will elicit reactions from us, some good and some the result of the natural human inclination to find out why. Our God designed life to be experienced not in vacuum, but in an environment where He is the only real constant. (Elab – through life experience we learn of His Majesty)

Our character is often sorely tested without warning; we are often at loss to even find words to describe our situation, so we sometimes shrug our shoulders and just say, “stuff happens”. (Elab – Sometimes we seek refuge in the port of human hurt when we question the unfairness of it all and just say with feeling – why me?)*

Given the inescapable fact that we must not only face trials in this life, but also tackle all that comes with “going through”, it is easy to feel as if we are being treated unfairly. (Elab – Many times we won’t say it out loud, but we feel like giving up) Despair leads to depression.

Yet I suggest to you today that God has created a built in purpose for each trial He allows in our lives. Even those that seem to hurt so much, even and especially for them, God has made a purpose. (Elab – God uses our trials as opportunities for us to embrace our moments of greatness)(True Greatness is defined by one’s desire to serve Christ) (Ex. – Moses, from fugitive to fearless)

(Transition) – The key thing to remember – God is doing something in us through trials.

I found at least three things that God was doing in me through my trials:

I. He Was Accomplishing His Original Plan

A. Do you remember God’s original plan for man? (Elab – Right relationship with Him; interrupted by sin)

B. Our failure did not cause God to take His eye off of the prize. (Elab)

C. God does not detour, just because we do not cooperate. (Elab – He still has a plan for our lives)

D. This is why James can say, “Count it all joy, when you fall into various trials…”. Because God is intending to use that trial to restore the joy of your relationship with Him. (Elab – He wants to take you to deeper depths and higher heights in Him)

II. He Was Building My Patience (vs. 3)

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

A. God allows our trials to build our ability to wait. Not to wait and complain, but to wait with the earnest expectation that the hope within us will be fulfilled. (Elab – Why are some of us still going through? We simply have not learned how to wait.)

B. The only way to a patient walk with God is to wait on Him. Yet we wait not in vain, for in reference to waiting, God has attached some promises to those who wait on Him:

Psalms 27:14 - Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalms 37:9 - For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.

Psalms 37 34 - Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

Isaiah 40 31 - But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

C. There is blessing in learning how to wait! (Elab – Don’t get a B.B. King spirit when you are going through your trials.)

III. He Teaching Me How To Be Mature (vs. 4)

4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

A. God’s ultimate goal for man was to build a creature that was complete, and mature in his relationship with his Creator. (Elab – He did not intend to build the whiny, feeling sorry for myself, some-timey or no-timey creatures we see in the mirror; but He wanted mature creatures who could choose to love Him, choose to love those around them, and choose to love themselves – NO MATTER WHAT!)

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