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Summary: There is a difference between a trial and a temptation. there is a difference in the way that we approach our trials. God has to be in charge.

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Faith that Works; Understanding trials of Life

James 1:1-18

Introduction:

We are starting a new series this week called Faith that works. We will be studying the book of James. Possible other lessons; Listening and living the Word of God. Taming you tongue. Finding God’s wisdom for life. Submitting to God. Being ready for tomorrow. This morning, looking at the trials of life. Maybe it’s me, but sometimes things happen that just make me want to say , where did that come from? Why did that happen? Where is God in all this? I want you to know it is okay to ask the hard questions, just be ready to hear when God answers. There are several James in the Bible. James, the brother of John- the sons of thunder. The half brother of Jesus. Most commentaries will agree that James the half-brother of Jesus is the writer of the book that bears his name. James as a kid was not believing that his older brother Jesus was the son of God, he did not believe in the miracles that Jesus performed. In fact, he was not a believer until after the resurrection of Jesus. It goes to show you that just because you may of been dragged to church, because your parents are believers doesn’t mean you are automatically one. He does give us some faith principals that when applied to our lives can give us a intimate relationship with the Lord and give us a victory in our lives here and now, as well as a promise of hope for the eternity. Read James 1:2-18 . There are some immediate observations and there are some immediate obstacles to see in this passage.

Observations

T You will face trials and temptations

T Trials help us persevere/ perseverance makes us mature.

T If you lack wisdom, you should be asking God.

T Double-minded faith is not pleasing to God.

TGod is not the one that tempts us.

T Trials left not taken care of turn into temptations. Temptations acted upon can lead to death spiritually.

Obstacles

How do we know the difference between trails and temptations?

How do we have joy as we are going through trials to be mature believers?

What is double-minded faith?

Let me just say this up front: faith is an action word. You live faith. It is not just something that you just have. You step out in faith-(action) stepping out. You act upon your faith and move toward God with it. Walk in faith- just like exercising by walking, faith is exercised when it is stretched, it is built upon. In fact, later in this same book, James tells us that if you do nothing with your faith, you don’t exercise it, that it is impossible to please God.

Illustration

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over. The problem began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean his cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up and Chippie got sucked into the vacuum. Since the bird was covered in soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the water and held Chippie under the water. Then realizing that Chippie was shivering and cold, she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the bird with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days later, a neighbor was asking the owner how the bird was doing? Chippie doesn’t sing as much anymore Sucked up, washed up, that’s enough to steal the song from anyone.

That is the way most people live their lives. Sucked up, washed up- and we don’t sing anymore. Tony Evans translates this verse like this. (1) My name is James, Jesus is Lord, now lets get to it Most people beat up by the world by the trails , by the temptations of the world, never get to the point in their lives that they determine- my name is James, Jesus is Lord, now lets get to it.

Jesus tells us in (2) “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds. He doesn’t say if, it is when If you have no plan, if you have no foundation your going to stand on. That trial is going to bring you down.

Illustration

If you have a brick, it is a nice brick. You can use it for 2 uses. For evil or for good. You can throw it through a window, that would be bad. You can build a building with it, the intended use of the brick. It is not the brick’s fault on how you use it, it has no mind of it’s own. You do It is your responsibility to use the things God puts in your life for it’s intended use. Even though someone or something gave you the brick by unintended means. God desires to use events and happenings in our life to help us mature. He cannot work in us without our cooperation. The only way God develops patience and character is through the trails of our lives. How we respond determines how well we are doing in those trails. It can be positive- drawing closer to God. It can be negative- pulls you away from God. There is a difference between a trial and a temptation. Trials are the things that happen in life. Trials just happen. Temptations- is sin acted upon either by our own fleshly desires, or Satan putting out bait and us responding.

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