Summary: Why do we face trials? How are we to react to them and why?
• SLIDE #1
• Do you ever wonder why we face so many trials in life? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to coast through life problem and trial free? I think it would.
• Have you noticed that since you gave your life to Jesus, the trials of life have not stopped? What’s with that?
• I know some of you have been through some very difficult trials by fire, it was not easy. I know at the time it was not a fun time. What was your attitude while you were going through the trial?
• SLIDE #2
• Romans 8:28(ESV) 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
• Did you doubt God’s promise in this verse? Did you feel angry, abandoned, cheated?
• How are we supposed to react towards trials by fire when they come? How is one as a Christian called to respond? Are trials just God messing with us or is there some higher purpose behind them?
• We are going to being an examination of what I believe is the most practical book in the bible, the book of James.
• James deals with things that hit us where we live I believe like no other New Testament writer does.
• James is dealing with people who are struggling with many things concerning their life and faith. As we study James together, you will get a lot of practical counsel as to how to deal with many of life’s challenges.
• Let’s begin our journey in James 1:2
• SLIDE #3
• James 1:2(ESV) 2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
• SLIDE #4
In order to endure a trial by fire we need to understand:
I. The attitude to possess in the midst of the trial.
• Sometimes we can think we have a wall around us that makes us impervious to trials by fire so when we discover that is not the case, we can easily fall into having a bad attitude.
• WE all know folks including ourselves who have gotten mad at God, or have even left God over a trial by fire.
• So, when we are facing a trial by fire how does God want us to react?
• SLIDE #5
A. Count it all joy.
• OH WOW! I’m done, this CRAZY! REALLY?
• I believe my reaction is biblical because my first reaction is to whine and cry out at God, doesn’t the bible encourage us to cry out AT God, err to God.
• One of my reactions is to consider it some sort of punishment! Why me, it is not fair!
• Then for good measure I will add some awesome pouting before the Lord.
• Ok, maybe that is not the way to go. We are called to count it all joy when we face the trials by fire.
• The text indicates that the joy we are to have is to be sincere joy. We are not called to just put up a brave front and to just make the best of the situation.
• Remember joy is an inner peace that we experience because we have FULL FAITH in God, we KNOW He will deliver as promised, we can cling to Romans 8:28!
• But we need to understand something about this joy.
• SLIDE #6
B. Should we joyfully anticipate trials?
• The joy we have is not a joyful anticipation of upcoming trials. WE are not to get excited about them like we would the new Cowboys and Aliens movie.
• We are to simply exhibit a joyful response to the trial when it comes.
• Joy is not a leaping with shouts and laughter, but it is a quiet confidence that God is with us and in control. There will be times when we will not feel that way.
• The trials are something that happens to us through the course of life. We do not look to suffer, but rather, it seems to find us because suffering and trials are a part of life.
• Jesus gives us the example!
• SLIDE #7
• Hebrews 12:2(ESV) 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
• Ok, but…
• SLIDE #8
C. Which types of trials are exempt?
• The EXCEPTION CLAUSE! Ok, I may be able to react to some trials with joy, but which type specifically does God want me to consider with joy?
• James tells does not give us any specific type of trials, but instead he says various, all types.