Summary: How can we let trials in our lives benefit our Christian walk?
Profiting From Trials
A young, Christian man went to an older believer to ask for prayer. "Will you please pray that I may be more patient?" he asked. The aged saint agreed. They knelt together and the man began to pray, "Lord, send this young man misery in the morning; send this young man suffering in the noontime; send this young man disaster in the evening and despair before bedtime." If you are serious about wanting patience you are going to have to go through things that will teach you, how. When James wrote this he wrote it as a command, he didn’t say if you can, if you are able, but this is what you should do. And usually, and I am guessing that James’ integrity would not allow otherwise, someone who writes something like this is someone who practices it as well. He has gone through it!
I. Trials will come (Verse 2)
a. Count it all joy…
i. Trial will come and when they come…Count it ALL joy!
ii. Not part of it, not the easiest portion of it, but the whole process of the trial
iii. When problems and trials are gaining ground and are clipping our heels how many of us are elated to the fact that we are about to go through a tough season
iv. How about just glad… How about just a smirk?
b. When You…
i. There are spiritual expectations and inevitabilities… “when you”
1. Expectation: When you pray (Matt 6)
2. Expectation: When you fast (Matt 6)
3. Expectation: When you gather together
4. Inevitability: When you hear of wars and rumors of wars
5. Inevitability: When you see Jerusalem surrounded
6. Inevitability: When you see these things happening
7. Inevitability: When you go through trials
ii. They are unavoidable, perhaps prophetic that trials will come
c. Fall into…
i. The wording that is used is that you fall into something that is all around you, in other words you cannot avoid it
ii. Know Jesus Know Peace No Jesus no peace…Sounds perpetual!
iii. That’s the kind of bumper sticker that makes back-sliders…
iv. The ultimate Christmas card… Matt 10:34
v. You have to earn that bumper sticker I could give some out right now to those who have earned it… He is all sufficient
vi. Most of us wouldn’t get one because we haven’t yet learned it
d. Various trials
i. Trials will come in many disguises
1. Financial…Marital…Illnesses…Societal…God’s calling can bring trials
ii. When trials come knocking don’t try to hold the door shut, find out who it is and let them in, very anti-prosperity isn’t it.
iii. It’s not a question of how long can you wait, it is a question of how will you come out of it when the wait is over. What will you look like? Not how long I can wait, but what will I look like
II. What you should KNOW about trials (A Purpose behind your trials) Verse 3
a. Know you are being tested by God
i. If you are receiving a test there is a teacher who is giving it…
ii. This is God’s desire that you go through this trial for a reason
iii. We tend to say and think, “The devil is all over me.” when we go through trials…
iv. How many times did Job blame Satan, rebuke Satan, or give him any credit for what he was going through?
v. Job never gave any of the blame to Satan. It was God whose hand came off for a moment that Job may be tested.
vi. We stand with our fist to the air screaming louder and louder I rebuke you Satan, (which is not found in the Bible) you are under my foot and you will not oppress me any longer, I have got you by the throat and I am wringing your neck, no your not you are pretending that you are, which does nothing… (Jude 9; Romans 16:20 We do not do the crushing)…
vii. Job did not rebuke Satan, Job didn’t curse God, but Job did rebuke his wife, because she gave him some bad advice (Job 2:9,10)
viii. And God is saying will you please chill out the only time you need to speak to Satan is if he is tempting you with a sin to do wrong not in the face of trials which I am bringing you through that you may be stronger.
ix. Temptation says, "Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong." Trials say, "Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful."
b. Know what is being tested your faith
i. Trials themselves is not a test as to whether or not you have faith, but to strengthen the faith you already have