Summary: Turning Trials into Triumphs - James chapter 1 verses 2 -12 - sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Rejoice (vs 2).
• Recognize (vs 3).
• Remain (vs 4).
• Request (vs 5-8).
• You probably know the saying;
• "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"
• The idea behind that proverb is simple;
• Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life, while lemonade is a sweet drink.
• And the saying is making the point;
• Be positive in the face of adversity or misfortune.
• So, "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!"
• If we are honest it is easier to smile at that statement than to practice it,
• But the basic philosophy is sound, in fact, it is Biblical!
• The Bible is full of people who turned defeat into victory and trials into triumph
• Instead of being VICTIMS, they became VICTORS.
• Now James in his letter (chapter 1 verses 1-12);
• Gives us four key words ifif we are going to turn our trials into triumphs,
• Four commands to obey.
(1). Rejoice (vs 2).
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters] whenever you face trials of many kinds”
• Remember this letter was written to Christians who were suffering for their faith.
• Verse 1 informs us that James wrote to the 12 tribes scattered abroad.
• These people were facing trials for one reason and one reason only – their faith!
• Now because we are God’s scattered people and not God’s sheltered people,
• We must experience trials.
• We cannot always expect everything to go our way.
• Some trials come simply because we are human.
• i.e. things like sickness, accidents, disappointments, even seeming tragedies.
• We live in a fallen world so expect things to go wrong!
• Other trials come because we are Christians.
• i.e. So many of our brothers and sisters in the world face persecution for following Jesus.
• Just recently on Palm Sunday (9 April), in northern Egypt
• 44 people died following blasts on two churches in the St. George's Coptic Orthodox church;
• In Tanta, in Gharbiya governorate in the Nile Delta region
The Open Doors Website says (http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/trends.php)
“In some ways the 2017 World Watch List has a depressingly familiar feel. For the fourth year in a row, the level of overall persecution has risen. North Korea is still number one. Islamic extremism continues to strangle the expression of the Christian faith. Millions of Christians around the world now live their lives against varying levels of discrimination, discovery, violence and arrest…”
It goes on to say:
“Yet, there is some good news - above all, the fact that the church is growing. There has been a remarkable growth in believers from a Muslim background (BMBs), not least from those who, having encountered extreme Islam, choose Christianity instead. And all around the world, persecuted Christians are continuing to discover a depth, a strength, a brightness to their faith that can only be found in the darkest times.”
• God’s scattered people are not God’s sheltered people:
• As Christians we will experience trials.
• We cannot expect everything to go our way.
Note: Now this verse is full of gems, full of important little words;