Summary: When our trust or faith is placed on anything other than God, it will always lead to misery.


The subject of the book of James is Faith. James is challenging his readers as well as all that profess the name Christ concerning the authenticity of our faith.

True faith will result in true Christ like living.

Dead faith, which is faith without works, can not save.

In chapter five, James addresses misplaced faith. That is faith in riches rather than God.

Then James warns his readers of the certain misery that result in trusting something other than God.

Misery is a result of misplaced faith.


Since misplaced trust leads to misery, part of our commission from God is to warn those who trust in riches.

What should we warn the unbeliever about concerning his wayward and misplaced trust?

We need to cry out with two urgent warnings concerning the perils of misplaced trust.


(first warning)

I. Warn the unbeliever that misplaced trust will result in the loss of everything he treasures.

A. Presentation

Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like a fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. James 5:3

Those who trust in riches rather than God have heaped up treasures in the last days.

They have spent all of their energy and life for something they will never enjoy.

B. Explanation

Look at verse 1 again.

Weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! vs 1

What miseries?

Those who trust in riches will suffer the loss of all they have accumulated, owned or saved

1. The corruption of riches. vs2

Your Health

Your Good Looks

Your Skills and Abilities

Your Family

Your Work

Your Ability to think, read, and study

2. The moth-eaten garments. vs2





Gardens and Yards

3. The corrosion of gold and silver vs3

C. Illustration

Jesus told a tragic story of a man who trusted in riches.

Luke 12:15-21

15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.

17 "And he thought within himself, saying, ’What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’

18 "So he said, ’I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods.

19 ’And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."’

20 "But God said to him, ’Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."


D. Application

Look about you in you work place, friendships, and extended family.

Do you run into people who are trusting in things other than God?

What do you say to them?

James had a passion for God and compassion for the the wanderer. He warned them. What about you?

Maybe there is a heart problem that cause us not to warn them.

Is it possible that our trust is out of focus? Is it possible we are guilty of the same misplaced trust as the world. That we trust in riches and our misplaced trust has blinded our ability to see misplaced trust in others hindering our ability to warn them of the misery that will follow.

Is your everyday trust misplaced? Are you trusting in something other than God? Are you trusting money, personal skills, and gifts? Are you trusting in your family and job to give you happiness and security? If that is true than you are in no place to warn a friend about misplaced trust. Trust God.

E. Charge

Trust God above all else for all happiness and security and you will be in a place to warn others of the tragic losses of trusting in something other than God.

The second warning we need to give others.

II. Warn the unbeliever that misplaced trust will result in the Judgment of God for everything they have done.

A. Presentation

Indeed the wages of the the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5:4

B. Explanation

The Lord of the Sabaoth is the Lord who fights in our behalf and will judge with vengeance the rich who have rejected God and persecuted the faithful.

Judged for what?

1. Judged for trusting in wealth. They were compelled in their misplaced trust to rob the laborers. vs 4

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