Summary: James never suggested that Christianity would be an easy way: He tells us that we would find ourselves in various temptations.
1 PETER 4;12
12 Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.
13 Instead, be really glad--because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering,
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
purosis, poo’-ro-sis; from G4448; ignition, i.e. (spec.) smelting (fig. conflagration, calamity as a test):--burning, trial.
The same test as a smelting fire:
Melting lead as a child to make fishing sinkers! The impurities float to the top when the tempreture is turned up:
Peter says dont be bewildered! or surprised.
James says (Not if ) but When!
None of us doubts for a moment that some day we will have to face difficult times.
Verse 12 says Don’t be surprised! God never says “Oops” He never says that because everything in our life is planned.
When an unexpected struggle or sudden problem hits us and catches us off guard
We become Alarmed, Outraged, or confused.
James gives us some help on how to handle our trials:
A) Some choose to respond to trouble with Anger: But Anger will not satisfy:
Anger is a wind
which blows out the
lamp of the mind
Anger: Is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
B) Some choose to respond to trouble with resignation
Just giving in will not make us feel any better about our problems or solve them.
C) James tells us to respond to trouble with rejoicing:
Remember last week I told you the world will never understand the ways of the cross:
We don’t rejoice for the trouble itself: But the good things the trouble can make happen in our lives.
Have you ever wondered about eggs and potatoes?
Boil an egg and it becomes hard;
Boil a potato and it becomes soft and pliable
Today you can respond to trials in your life by becoming hard, like an egg.
Or soft and Pliable like a Potato.
Lifes like that: If we see a purpose behind our trial ( That he wants to make us more useful) then we can rejoice.
Lets look at Psalm 66 for a moment
8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.