Summary: Everyone, at this very moment is in a trial, heading for a trial, or just coming out of one. What we do with that trial is solely up to us.
Everyone, at this very moment is in a trial, heading for a trial, or just coming out of one. What we do with that trial is solely up to us.
I. The Purpose of Trials (vv. 1-6)
i. Trials (peirasmois), describes things that put a person to the test
1. Persecution from without
2. Inner moral tests (temptation)
b. Why Joy (v. 3)
i. Trials are capable of developing perseverance
ii. Trials put the believer’s faith to the test
1. If it is Genuine faith, testing serves to develop persistence
2. (Hypomonen) “patience”, translates as stick-to-it-iveness
iii. Patience doesn’t passively endure, but rather its quality that enables us to stand our ground and face the storms of life
c. Perseverance (v. 4)
i. Perseverance has a work to do, and only can be accomplished by persistence in trials
ii. If perseverance is to finish it work, faith must not falter or give up.
iii. The goal is that believer’s may be mature and complete (NOT PERFECT)
II. God’s offer (vv. 5-8)
a. James speaks of trials before perseverance has completed its work
b. The Greek translation of the sentence here assumes that people facing trials do lack wisdom
i. Not speculative or theoretical Wisdom, but rather the wisdom we find in the Book of Proverbs
c. It is the God given understanding that enables a person to avoid the path of wickedness and to live a life of righteousness
d. God’s wisdom is available to all that ask, it is God’s promise to us.
i. We must believe and not doubt
1. Not just mere acceptance, but be confident of what you requested of God and expect Him to do so.
e. We cannot be divided and tossed around by the sea (v. 6)
i. One minute the voice of faith at the top of the wave and the next at the trough of the wave in disbelief
f. Prayer that moves God to respond is consistent and unwavering
g. Man can be his own barrier though (vv. 7-8)
i. Double minded (dipsychos) in the strictest literalness means double souled
ii. One soul declaring “I believe” and the other shouting “I don’t
iii. This instability marks man’s whole life
iv. God will not bless this type of man
v. You cannot serve two masters
III. Trials Outcome (vv. 9-12)
a. We know our position in Christ (v. 9)
i. We are humble and faithful, we know that God will lift us up.
b. We place our life in God’s hands (v. 10)
i. The material things of this world will pass away, but God will always be there for us
ii. We learn that trials are temporary
c. The Crown of Life
i. If we persevere under trial, we will receive the crown of life.
When trials come our way, we have a choice to make.
(1) Be tossed around by the waves of the world, or
(2) Be faithful in God and grow in Christian maturity