Summary: How doe we handle trials?
Let’s start by opening our Bulletins and note our focus here on a Sunday morning: we worship God with our singing; we worship God with our prayers; we worship God with our giving; and we worship God with His words from the Bible.
We start a new message series today with the Letter by James. The letter we will read was from James but it was God who spoke through James. And so, as we listen to God through James, we are to worship God; and worship of God means we are to give worth to God! How should we give worth to God with His Word??
We give worth to God with His Word by: truly listening, try to understand, doing what He says!
Let us pray together our commitment to God’s Word shall we…………
Open your Bibles now to the Letter by James, near the end of the New Testament. Read along with me James 1 (we will focus on the first 12 verses today) ..….
And so we note in v1 God using a man named James. Who was this James? There are at least 4 James noted in the New Testament. This James was likely a son of Mary, therefore a brother of Jesus Christ; there was also a James who was one of the 12 Apostles, but he died too early for this letter, which was written in the 60’s AD. We will note more about this author James as we study the letter; but again, let us see the letter directly from God!
So right of the bat, what does God say about James of this letter? James was a servant of God and Jesus Christ; James was a devout Christian!
And again, part of worship is to apply what we are hearing from God. Because there are so many things to apply to our lives from this letter, we will be noting them as we move along. A quick application for us then is; do we desire to have God speak through us? We are to be a servants of God and Jesus Christ! Do you see yourself as a servant of Jesus Christ? What are we doing on a daily basis in serving Jesus Christ?
And we also note in v1 to whom the letter was addressed to: to the 12 tribes scattered among the nations! What does this mean? There are at least 3 things we can note about the original recipients of this letter; what are they?? v1b: 12 tribes scattered:
1. 12 tribes indicate – Jewish backgrounds (if the letter was written around 60 AD, most of the Christians at that time were Jewish and were still under the Rule of the roman Empire)
2. Scattered?? – Persecuted (this is also evident in the letter)
3. In context – Believers of Christ
Now, I don’t know anyone in our church at the moment who has a Jewish background or being persecuted; but we will note as Believers of Christ, many of the truths in the letter can apply to us here in America. So let’s continue.
v2: Trials are to be considered pure joy! Why?
v3: Trials test faith in God/Jesus Christ which develops perseverance!
v4: Perseverance leads to maturity and completeness! And so, God allows trials in life to test faith in God which calls for perseverance leading to maturity (spiritual growth). But according to v4 & v12 what is the final desire of God for Christians??
God desires contentment and blessings for the Christian!
Application for us today? Do we desire contentment and blessings? Here is the problem for us: We desire contentment and blessings but we don’t want any trials!!
God brings contentment and blessings through trials! How do we respond to trials? View trials in life as blessings! Are you going through trials right now? Rejoice!! You know, Christians should be the most joyful people in the world! View trials in life as blessings!
Now, does this mean we are to look for and create troubles for ourselves? Many Christians use the verse “Christians are to carry their cross daily!” If you are using that verse to accept trials and troubles, you’re not listening to God carefully. How are we to know what God is really saying?
v5-8: Ask God for wisdom and do not doubt Him!! Before we close with this truth, let us note another major thing a Christian must do when asking God for something; it’s in v9-11. What is it??
v9-11?? The Christian must be humble before God in all situations!
Let’s close by noting what we must do personally.
What’s the first thing we should ask when trials come??
1. When trials come in our lives (and they will), the first thing we should ask is “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?”