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.