Please Review the Text of James 1:2-3 Before Reading the Pastorís Sermon
1 James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
The Four Main Biblical Truths That Will Be Examined In Todayís Sermon Are:
1) Nothing Can Happen to a Child of God That Does Not First Go Through the Mind of God. (Job 1:8-11)
2) Everything God Does is for the Best. (Jer 29:11)
3) God Guarantees a Way to Win Through. (1 Cor 10:13)
4) Trials Have a Divine Purpose. (Rom 8:28)
There is a pastor in America who has a motto secured onto the wall of his office. This motto is a contemporary paraphrase of a biblical truth- a truth that is the launching point of my morning message. It reads: "Hallelujah Anyhow". Its origin is from James 1:2F which literally says:
"When your world is falling apart, when your problems are enormous, when temptations assail you on every side, praise the Lord"!
This portion of the Word is expounding a very important principal: lifeís trials and troubles are meant to be positive experiences. They are to be edifying adventures.
Now few believers in Christ realize this principal right away- though it is possible. No, most come to realize it through the passage of time as God gives them one opportunity after another to learn how to rely on His power to live victoriously.
Are You In Game Shape?
Most spiritual truths have a physical counterpart. In the physical realm, we all know the importance of intense physical training by an athlete in order to prepare for a sporting contest.
Remember as kids how we used to warm up for our turn at the baseball plate, by swinging two bats. Or when we would prepare for a competitive event by throwing medicine balls and lifting weights. I vividly remember training for a tug-of-war contest by pulling against a Dodge æ ton power wagon. Now that was one great competitor!
Athletes have to burden their muscles so that they might be strengthened and thereby become better equipped to face the really big tests that lie ahead them.
People, the Bible is sharing a spiritual parallel in this portion of the Word. As believers in Christ, the Lord has given us the potential to become "Olympic-class" spiritual athletes. In order for this to happen though, we need to be in "game shape". Spiritual weights, namely the trials of life, build us up inwardly so that when the really big troubles hit, we can win.
Our problem, of course, is that we have a tough time accepting these trials of life for what they are. Generally, we forget all about their importance in the "spiritual building" process and not infrequently bemoan our lot in life.
"Why me and why now?" is often the expression you will hear rather than, "Wow, God has something incredible in store for me"! When you think or talk in a defeated manner, you have lost an important spiritual perspective.
James says count all your perceived troubles as joy. Consider them as pure joy.
"Be Happy", are the words Kenneth Taylor uses in the Living Bible, "for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow, and donít try to squirm out of your problems."
I like this translation from Taylor. He often seems to find just the right modern expressions to cast fresh light on old truths. More often than we care to admit, we tend to squirm out of our problems instead of rejoicing in them.
Everything God Does Is For The Best
Always. Always. Always remember that nothing can happen to the child of God that does not first of all go through the mind of God. God is omniscient (all knowing). He knows exactly what you are up against and has permitted your trial for a perfect reason.
Godís omniscience is best illustrated in the book of Job where we see that Satanís capacities to inflict or entice evil in our lives is totally under the restraining power of God,
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (Job 1:6-8)