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Summary: Today we’re going to look at how our knowledge of the Truth and the maturity of our faith can determine the level of joy we can experience, even when life seems to be hitting us over the head with a hammer.

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How To Experience Joy During Trials (Part 2)

James 1:3-4

Preached by Pastor Tony Miano

Pico Canyon Community Church

November 12, 2000

A Little Levity: With the dust settling from our recent elections, I had an opportunity to review some sound bites that were overlooked by mainstream media. One reporter asked the presidential and vice-presidential candidates a very simple question. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” After some thoughtful consideration, this is what they had to say.

VICE PRESIDENT GORE

I fight for the chickens and I am fighting for the chickens right now. I will not give up on the chickens crossing the road! I will fight for the chickens and I will not disappoint them.

GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH

I don’t believe we need to get the chickens across the road. I say give the road to the chickens and let them decide. The government needs to let go of strangling the chickens so they can get across the road.

SENATOR LIEBERMAN

I believe that every chicken has the right to worship his or her God in his or her own way. Crossing the road is a spiritual journey and no chicken should be denied the right to cross the road in his or her own way.

SECRETARY CHENEY

Chickens are big-time because they have wings. They could fly if they wanted to. Chickens don’t want to cross the road. They don’t need help crossing the road. In fact, I’m not interested in crossing the road myself.

RALPH NADER

Chickens are misled into believing there is a road by the evil tire makers. Chickens aren’t ignorant, but our society pays tire makers to create the need for these roads and then lures chickens into believing there is an advantage to crossing them. Down with the roads, up with chickens.

PAT BUCHANAN

To steal a job from a decent, hardworking American.

Introduction: Last week we began our look at three keys to experiencing joy in the midst of our day-to-day trials. The first key, which we considered last week, is the attitude of our heart. Today we’re going to look at how our knowledge of the Truth and the maturity of our faith can determine the level of joy we can experience, even when life seems to be hitting us over the head with a hammer.

Let’s pray.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~ James 1:2-4

Key #2: Our knowledge of the truth

. . . knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (1:3).

In verse three, we have the rational response to, what on the surface, seems like a very irrational claim made in verse two. The question you may be asking yourself might go something like this. How and why can I react to the trials in my life with such an unusual response as joy?

We can respond to trials with an attitude of joy in our hearts because of what we know. What we know is that the testing of our faith produces endurance. How do we know that? We know, we know with certainty, that this is the case because of our knowledge of the truth. Our knowledge of the truth comes from two sources— experience and Scripture.


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