6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A sermon about the purpose of trials in our life

TITLE: The Truth About trials

TEXT: James 1:2-12

THEME: trials, faith, believers under test, testings, perseverance

P.S. The Christian does not have to be a victim of his circumstance, but can have victory even in times of trials and testings.


Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, p. 11.

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’’s owner decided to clean Chippie’’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."

It’’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.

“Sucked in, washed up, and Blown over” That about sums up how many of us feel at times isn’t?

It describes the certainty of trials and feelings of powerlessness that trials bring. An Army Chaplain had a sign on his door that said, “If you have troubles, come in & tell me all about them. If you don’t have troubles, come in & tell me how you do it.”

James reminds us of the reality that even in the Christian life, there are trials and temptations.

However, the Christian does not have to be a victim of his circumstance, but can have victory even in times of trials and testings. James tells us No matter what the trials on the outside, we can experience victory through faith in Christ. How do you respond when Life Deals You A Lemon?……..

There are four essentials for victory in Trials:-

Count - A Joyful Attitude James 1:2

Know -An Understanding Mind James 1:3

Let - A Surrendered Will James 1:4, 9-11

Ask - A Heart that Wants to Believe James 1:5-8

1. Count - A Joyful Attitude James 1:2 Count or consider is an accounting term. It means to take stock of. Consider carefully. Investigate fully. Line up all the numbers them add them all up. What are the things we are to consider?

a. Consider the facts about trials: James does not say if trials come, but when they do come. Expect them! Do not hide your face inn the proverbial sand. Notice that just because you are a believer, you are not exempt. The Proverbs tell us that rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Satan fights us, the world opposes us and makes this life full of battle!

B. Consider many different trials: James says we face trials of many kinds. This can refer to two things. Firstly, it can refer to types of trials. Emotional trials, trials at work, physical trials etc. Or it can refer to the source of trials. Trials generally come from one of two sources. There are the trials that we experience as a result of living the Christian life. In fact this is probably what James had in mind as he wrote this letter. His audience was the “twelve tribes” scattered throughout the earth...” He was addressing those believers who had been uprooted from their homes and families just because they were believers. There are still many in our world who are experiencing persecution for their faith. Christian World Report, says that in China alone, 1100 people are executed monthly just because of their Faith. In some restrictive Nations in the middle east, to become a believer is an automatic death sentence. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are experiencing such trials. It is a reminder to us to be thankful for our momentary window of freedom we presently have to worship God without restrictions, and to be ready for when the door might one day be slam behind us.

For the most part, we have it pretty good on the western world. Our trials come from another source. They are the unknown, unexpected experiences of life. For the most part people do not have control over such experiences. No one could have predicted or controlled the hijacking of four air planes by some crazed, deluded, terrorists and the subsequent destruction of the Trade Centre with its unbelievable loss of life. These kinds of trials are unexpected. They find you, you don’’t need to make your own trials.

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Talk about it...

Willem B. Slomp

commented on Aug 8, 2007

Hi, I am a fellow pastor. I was looking for some ideas for my own sermon. I read this one and liked some of the ideas expressed. However, I ten looked at Wiersbe's commentary and found that most of this sermon was taken directly from him. I don't think that such plagiarism is ethical. god bless. Bill Slomp

Dearl Hardy

commented on Jul 8, 2014

maybe I should simply bite my tongue and move on but I just can't lol... I find so much humor in this comment by someone who is reading another pastors sermon preparing his own and reading anothers commentary ton prepare his own and then accusing someone of plagiarism? lol all I can say is wow, very humorous indeed. As a Bi vocational pastor with very little education and only the calling and desire to serve my God I am so very thankful that so many wonderful Pastors share there messages online to help me prepare my message. I pray that God allows me to deliver the very best message each week and I study as much as I possibly can and often use many of the comments sermons and illustrations from these messages. I kind of thought that is was Gods word and if He gave someone a great message to share with others how is it plagiarism to use Gods message He has spoken through another servant? I would think God would want us to teach His word as best as we can using every possible resource He has provided. But then again I am not a very educated man just one with a willing heart to serve the best I can.

Charles Blose

commented on Feb 13, 2009

If you truly beleive in your heart that the word of God is given to each and everyone of us through many different messengers and in many different ways. Let us look through the Bible and read, many times the word of God has been repeated and borrowed from other books. Could the use of Gods word or the use any other educational material be considered plagiarism? Gods word is His word and when we use it are we plagiarizing?

Jose Sanchez

commented on Aug 18, 2011

As I have pondered the last two comments - I would like to post my personal conviction and that is that the word of God is not copyrighted , therefore what the lord inspires in our heart to write whether for sermon or bible study should not have a copyright. If a person does not want their material used then it should not be posted. There is no plagiarizing when it comes to the teaching and preaching of God''s word -If it will save souls and if it is used for the kingdom then use it for his purpose and Glory. Amen

Harold Goff

commented on Apr 14, 2012

I am a bivocational Pastor with limited education. I owe it to my congration to deliver the best sermon I can. I agree it should not be used in place of my personal study time ,but it''s Gods word and if its inspirational and will edify my listener''s I use it if I am allowed. I Told the church at the begenning of the sermon when I had borrowed it from another pastor until the Deacon''s came to me and said to stop. I wonder when I hear all the discussion if we should try putting ourselves in the other man''s shoes before we pass judgment

John Kiddy

commented on Apr 24, 2013

I spent some miserable early years trying to be original with everything I shared, but have come to a very freeing understanding that we are meant by God to glean from one another. None of us have anything to give that has not been given us...every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights

David Mortiz

commented on Feb 8, 2014

To be original is over rated. After all, we are called to be effective, not original.

Kim Johnson

commented on May 1, 2014

Amen Brother.It is nearly impossible o be original when "there is nothing new under the sun" (ecclesiastes 1;9) Beides, the word was given to us to spread. Not to claim ownership.

Roosevelt Pope

commented on Jun 17, 2014

Wow! Kim you simply blasted the hypocrites out the water...When I read your comment the Holy Ghost leaped in my stomach...Nothing is new under the sun....I am simply wowed...thank you for reminding us of God's Word.

Roosevelt Pope

commented on Jun 17, 2014

Maybe hypocrites was too harsh but at least the naysayers and critics

Stacy Person

commented on May 13, 2014

Hi, I am also a bivocational pastor I personally agree that GODs word is His word. I don't see anything wrong with pastors sharing or using other pastors and ideas, or revelations to bring people to CHRIST. Preachers do it every time they talk about JESUS the Bible that we tea?h from are revalations from GOD Himself to men like us that are called to preach the good news of Christ Jesus, God bless and keep up the good work

Richard Plock

commented on Jun 20, 2014

Richard Plock I am so thankful for all of the comments posted. As an interim pastor in a small Baptist church and doing prison ministry Celebrate Recovery on Friday nights plus being the care taker of my wife who is terminally ill with liver failure. I thank God for the men who post there sermons online. We are called to share God's word not sell it, if we glean from each other and share together we could turn the world upside down. Don't think that that the disciples did not reproach Jesus Sermons. They did maybe not in the word for word but they used what they were taught freely received and freely given. Humble yourself and thank God for all of the men that have gone before you and left you a hand up in time of need

Constance Mcintosh

commented on Sep 7, 2016

Amen! There are some weeks when pastoral care needs more hours than I can squash into one week...at those times these offerings help me feed the flock so everyone gets what they need from the Spirit!

Constance Mcintosh

commented on Sep 7, 2016

Amen! There are some weeks when pastoral care needs more hours than I can squash into one week...at those times these offerings help me feed the flock so everyone gets what they need from the Spirit!

Renee Sinclair

commented on Sep 16, 2015

We should use whatever it takes to win people... After all Originality is "the are of concealing your sources"

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