Summary: How Christians should view trials of life.
I’m wondering this morning if there is anybody who knows anything about trials. Is there anyone who’s going through a trial right now? Maybe you’ve just come out of a trial and I’m not psychic, but I have a feeling that somebody is about to go through a trial.
• The words of the great theologians Rob Bass and DJ EZ Rock say, “Joy and Pain, Sunshine and Rain.”
• In other words there will be some good days in our lives, and some bad days. There are going to be happy times and some hills to climb. There will be some victorious moments and some weary and lonely nights.
Sometimes we may feel like life isn’t fair. It may seem like dark clouds hit the brakes and park over our lives, and it doesn’t just rain, but it pours. Trials seem to bombard our lives when the time just isn’t right.
• The economy is slow and we’re losing jobs. This world is lonely and relationships are falling apart. Life is already stressful and your children not cutting you any slack.
• Gas is $4.00 a gallon and still rising. You come to church to worship God, but some church folk talking behind your back. You’re trying to make it through school and the tuition keeps going up.
• You just got well and now you’re going back to the doctor for another pain. I tell you when it rains, sometimes it pours.
Someone may be saying, “Preacher, I didn’t come to church to hear a depressing sermon. I didn’t come here to talk about my trials. I deal with them every day and I thought that this morning I could get my shout on for a change and forget about what I’m going through.”
• Well that’s why God sent me by this morning, so that you can get your shout on; I’m here to show you the Christian’s perspective of trials.
• You see the world looks at life one way, but for the Christian there should be a different perspective and outlook on life.
• When we view trials through the lens of the world we become depressed and stressed; discouraged and dismayed; feel heartache and pain. But when trials are viewed through the lens of God’s Word, it makes a world of difference.
You said you wanted to get your shout on, well shout on this. Your problems have purpose, pain can be productive, and it is possible to grow in the dark. Trials aren’t a waste of time, and they should be a lesson learned.
• And don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you gave your life to Christ, that you’re free from trials and immune from tribulations.
• It will rain in your life, hard times will come, and your faith is going to be tested. But if your trials always seem like the end of the world, then you need to understand the Christian’s perspective of trials.
In our highlighted passage, James shares with us that there is more than one way to view the trials of life. James, not to be confused with James who was one of the 12 disciples, but the author of this book was actually the half brother of Jesus.
• Why a half brother? Because the Virgin Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, therefore, Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.
Thank God for that because it takes the genes of both parents to determine the blood type of a child. Knowing that we’re born in sin, there would be no way that Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice with tainted blood if Joseph was His biological father.
• Since God is His Father, and He and His Father are one, perfection was sent to this earth to die for imperfect people.
• But after Jesus, Mary and Joseph did have children together in which one was James the author of our text.
James wrote this book to Jewish Christians in order to provide them with some practical instructions for living. Similar to the practical teachings found in the latter part of the letter Paul wrote to the Roman Church, James stresses the need for Christian living not only to show the reality of a person’s inner development but to show the world that the gospel does, in fact, change lives.
• If a person claims to be a Christian but is no different from an unbeliever, what benefit is that to the world who is in need of truth?
• But when we are renewed by the transforming of our mind and exhibit the power of Christ in our lives, we’ll become a transforming force in the world.
So, in the first few verses of chapter 1 James’ practical instruction to Christians tell us how we’re to view trials of life. James wants us to understand that the Christian’s perspective of trials is way different from the world’s perspective of trials.