Summary: James gives us the solution to trouble and several other things that we encounter in life. 1- Are you in trouble? Pray 2- Are you happy? Sing 3- Are you sick? Call (make a phone call)
INTRO.- Trouble. Can life be lived without any trouble? No, it’s an impossibility.
ILL.- Mark Twain said, “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
I think all parents have some trouble with their kids, but I doubt seriously that they enjoy it. Children are great but with them comes trouble. If nothing else, it’s troublesome to raise children to adulthood. It’s a lot of trouble to diaper them, discipline them, teach them, train them, provide for them, etc.
ILL.- Theodore Roosevelt said, “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” Isn’t this the truth? We are often our own worst enemies. We cause us more trouble than anyone else.
ILL.- Former Heavyweight Boxing champ of the world, Mike Tyson, said, “I'm in trouble because I'm normal and slightly arrogant. A lot of people don't like themselves and I happen to be totally in love with myself.”
Well, no wonder he’s had so much trouble in life! I wouldn’t call Mike Tyson normal even though he thinks he is. And anyone who is in love with himself or herself is bound to have all kinds of trouble in life. And Mike Tyson has had plenty of trouble: money loss (he lost a fortune made from his boxing career. I think he made $400 Million and lost it all), in and out of jail, trouble with women, fighting outside the ring, etc. Mike Tyson has definitely been his own worst enemy and brought tons of trouble on himself.
We also incur trouble by following Christ.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In this world you will have trouble. What kind of trouble? Jesus was talking to His disciples so He was talking about discipleship troubles. Trouble from following Him. Because the evil one exists in this world he will cause trouble in your life as you follow Jesus. Jesus is a peacemaker but the devil is a troublemaker. The devil wants to cause you trouble in order to make you fall away from Christ.
Matthew 13:21 “But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.”
Trouble because of the Word. What’s this? If we stick to the truth of God’s Word and try to live by God’s Word we will experience some trouble in this world. As a whole, the world is opposed to the Word of God. If you say, “The Bible says...” someone will always dispute you or argue with you.
John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” We may be troubled in this world but trusting God and Christ is the cure!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
PROP.- James gives us the solution to trouble and several other things that we encounter in life.
1- Are you in trouble? Pray
2- Are you happy? Sing
3- Are you sick? Call (make a phone call)
I. ARE YOU IN TROUBLE? PRAY
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.
ILL.- Abraham Lincoln: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” I’m pretty sure that Lincoln had his share of trouble and haven’t we all? And what do we do when we have trouble? Some people rant and rave, cuss and carry on, but hopefully, we do the best thing, and the first thing and that’s pray!
ILL.- A little boy's prayer: "Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess."
ILL.- Satchel Paige, pitcher who last played for the KC A’s and passed away in 1982: “Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.”
ILL.- Or as Will Rogers said: “The trouble with our praying is, we just do it as a means of last resort.”
We must be men and women of prayer ALL the time, and not just when we get into trouble. As Carrie Underwood sings, “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” Jesus needs to be our driver every day.
ILL.- E. M. Bounds wrote: “TROUBLE and prayer are closely related to other. Prayer is of great value to trouble. Trouble often drives men to God in prayer, while prayer is but the voice of men in trouble. There is great value in prayer in the time of trouble. Prayer often delivers out of trouble, and still oftener gives strength to bear trouble, ministers comfort in trouble, and begets patience in the midst of trouble. Wise is he in the day of trouble who knows his true source of strength and who fails not to pray.”