Summary: God knows why people do what they do and how to change them.

Gods Perfecting Process


How to Profit from Your Problems

James 1:1-8

Murphy’s laws:

* “Nothing is as easy as it looks; everything takes longer than you think; if anything can go wrong it will.”

* “A day without a crisis is a total loss.”

* “The chance of the bread falling with the peanut butter-and-jelly side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.”

* “Inside every large problem is a series of small problems struggling to get out.”

* “Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll underneath to the exact center.”

* “Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.”

* “The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.”

A random sampling of Murphy’s laws shows us how inescapable problems are in life. Someone has said after surveying life’s troubles, (“Anybody who isn’t schizophrenic these days isn’t thinking clearly.”)

For generations, psychologists and psychiatrists, peeping into what some of them choose to call the human “psyche,” have been trying to understand the inner life of human beings. Thousands, engaged in this endeavor, on all continents, have written millions of pages about it, and yet the results have been utterly disappointing. Ideas about human inner life have only proliferated rather than converged in the kind of deepening consensus that is found in other disciplines. So serious is this failure to attain a consensus that it may fairly be said that among psychotherapists confusion reigns.

* One psychologist, recently commenting on this phenomenon, wrote that it constitutes nothing less than “a babble of voices.”

* , more euphemistically calls the confusion “a ballet of differences.”

* Joseph Carey reports, “Health officials point out that it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of the 250 different psycho-therapies now in use.”

Two hundred-fifty psycho-therapies are now in use. Think of it! That means 250 differing views of human life, the nature and origin of human problems, and what to do about them.

It’s time to turn from guess-work to what God has to say.

Study the inner life of the human being in the book of James.

In the early days of the automobile a man’s Model-T Ford stalled in the middle of the road. He couldn’t get it started no matter how hard he cranked nor how much he tried to advance the spark or adjust things under the hood. Just then a chauffeured limousine pulled up behind him, and a wiry, energetic man stepped out from the back seat and offered his assistance. After tinkering for a few moments the stranger said, “Now try it !” Immediately the engine leaped to life. The well-dressed individual himself was Henry Ford. “I designed and built these cars,” he said, “so I know what to do when something goes wrong.” God, as our Creator knows how to “fix” us when our lives are broken by sin.

I do not propose to psychologize Scripture. To do any such thing amounts to interpreting the Bible through the grid of one or more of the 250 man-made systems of psychology into which the Scriptures are then force-fitted. instead, I propose to help you investigate what God Himself has said about the inner dynamics of your life.

James 4:1

James 3:11, 14

Riches, worldliness

Insights into the human dynamic

What is God doing?

How does He do it?

What can we do to allow it?

James’ basic concern is to help you become a complete person.

1:4; 3:2; 1:17, 27

The final product 1:18

Rom. 8:28, 29

1:4 - object of James to teach you to allow God’s processes (not problems; opportunities) to make you a mature Christian.

Profiting from your problems or losses

1:4 - complete and entire

teleios = entirely, completeness, maturity, even perfection

Modern Greek teleia = period, mark at end of sentence to show that it is complete

Borrowed from Hebrew notion of the tam (“whole”) person

Job 1:1 - “perfect”

Job was not sinless - but a man of integrity

Job - moving ahead in every area of life.

His life, as a whole, pleased God.

resists and overthrows sin

unwavering faith

effective prayers

endures trials

controls tongue

What God is doing? Conforming us to the image of Christ. God’s #1 purpose in your life is to make you like Christ. God is much more interested in building character tan in making you comfortable.

How does God do it?

Gods profit formula. (Attitude determines outcome [income] or our responses determine outcome).

Capital investment: trials +Attitude (knowledge determines attitude) what do we know? (Romans 8:28, 29) + patience “let” + wisdom (which you ask for) + unwavering faith =perfection

Rom. 8:28; James 1:2-4

The Oyster

There once was an oyster whose story I tell,

Who found that sand had got under his shell;

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