Summary: Everyone is going to have suffering. But our understanding of it and attitude toward it determines if it destroys us or makes us.

James 1:1-8

“My attitude toward suffering”

May 16, 1999 - morning

1. We have someone who can identify with us in our pain (1:1-2a)

someone who is on our level - “a bondservant”

someone who understands our pain - “scattered abroad”

someone who cares about our pain - “My brethren”

NOTE: Jesus fulfills each of these reqirements - “made in the likeness of men” Phil. 2; “in all points tempted like we are”; “not touched with the feelings of our infirmities”

2. There is a purpose for our pain (1:2b-5)

knowing the purpose can give me an attitude adjustment - “count it all joy”

- “joy” - how do I have joy in the middle of suffering?

- “fall” - something unexpected

fulfilling the purpose can give me a fortitude adjustment - “produces patience”

- can’t understand how anyone can enjoy running

- running produces endurance

- brings me closer to my goal

- Paul’s goal was to be like Jesus

accepting the purpose can give me an altitude adjustment - “but let patience”

- “let” implies permission; I have to choose how I am going to relate to my

trials, and that choice will determine whether they are fruitful or fruitless

- a complete soldier

- “lacking nothing” - not in the sense of having everything I want but in the sense of having every character quality that makes me into the person that God can use (i.e. one of the cooks in our household made some rice-a-roni a few weeks ago and forgot to put in the seasoning mix. Tasted awfully bland)

3. We can receive wisdom to help us make it through the pain (1:6)

God is the source of the wisdom - “ask of God”

God does not condemn us for asking - “upbraideth not”

God has promised to give the wisdom - “it will be given him”

4. Our faith will give us stability in the midst of the pain (1:7-8 cf Heb 11:6)

faith that God is there - “God is”

faith that God is good - “He is a rewarder”

Conc-God has the ability to calm the storm, but sometimes, He would rather calm His child.

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