Summary: A series in James about possessing a foolproof faith. This message focuses on faith that trusts God in all situations.
November 19, 2006
Trusting Faith – James 1:5-12
Review: Last week we started into a series on James entitled – Foolproof. I asked if anyone here had perfected the Christian life – and much to my surprise no one claimed to be perfect. Imagine That!
Note: James, the brother of Jesus, understood that not one of us is perfect, but that we are all in the process of being perfected. So to help us understand genuine faith, James wrote this letter to distinguish true faith from false faith. He wrote to help us to have a foolproof faith. That is, he wrote that we wouldn’t be fooled into thinking we had genuine faith when we only had religion and so we wouldn’t be duped by the false teaching of the foolish.
Note: As began our study, we introduced the purpose of trials and how they differ from temptation. A trial is any difficulty given to us by God to mature us in our relationship w/ Him. Its purpose is to approve the genuineness of our faith and to reveal to us any weaknesses in our lives and character. A temptation is authored by Satan for the purpose of hurting us.
Key: It is vital to remember that if we fail to learn from trials we can be certain of two things: (1) God’s testing will become more intention and intense to mature us and (2) Satan’s trickery we begin to cause us to stumble.
Insert: To refresh your memory, last week we looked at the expectations of trials.
Verse: Consider it joy, whenever you encounter trials of many kinds, b/c you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Note: As believer we’re to do three things as the result of encountering trials – we are to FIND Joy, GAIN endurance, and BECOME mature.
Word: consider (hegeomai) not a suggestion but a command. Don’t fake joy; choose joy. It’s not human nature to be joyful in times of trial; choosing joy is a matter of will and not feelings.
Word: whenever (hotan) not if, as in the possibility of, but when, as in the inevitability of. Meaning all Christians will experience times of testing, and they will come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can count on it.
Word: encounter (peripipto) literally to ‘fall into.” The word is used of the man who was robbed and beaten in the parable of the Good Samaritan – meaning that a trial can come at anytime and from any direction.
Word: trials (peirasmos) a test to approve or assay to determine authenticity. To determine the value and strength of a precious metal it has to be put to fire.
Word: know (ginosko) to know through experience. Trials test your beliefs to confirm that you know through experience your beliefs are accurate.
Word: perseverance (hupomone) hupo – underneath; mone – to patiently abide. The idea is that trials are intended to bring a person under the influence of God where you patiently wait upon and trust Him b/c you understand He is at work through difficulty to build inner strength in you character and life.
Word: mature (teleios) perfect in the sense you’re fully developed and mature – reaching your maximum potential in Christ; possessing true Christ-likeness.
Word: complete (holokleros) meaning whole in all parts or fully equipped; it refers to having an undivided heart and an unblemished character.
Insert: (1) Trials lead to soul satisfaction when we trust God.
(2) Trials provide believers w/ spiritual fortitude and staying power.
(3) Trials perfect us that we’ll be effective and productive in our knowledge of Christ and in our service to His kingdom.
Trans: Today we’re going to finish our study on trials by considering how we are to respond or engage them. It is all an issue of trust.
II ENGAGE Trials
Verse: 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all w/out finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, b/c he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, b/c he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.