Summary: Trials, troubles and tears are the lot of the believer. James encourages us to live a life of faith.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8
James: A Faith that Works
Weathering the Storms of Life
Introduction – Mr. Insured had just purchased a new 750cc Honda motorcycle. After a few leisurely trips around the block to become acquainted with this powerful new machine, he parked the cycle in front of his home to show it off to his neighbors.
It started to rain, however, and not wanting to get the cycle wet, Mr. Insured decided to bring the cycle into his house. He put down several large boards over the front steps to make a ramp. He started the cycle up and drove up the ramp, but being unfamiliar with the power of his new cycle, he lost control on the porch, crashed through the front door and into the television set. He sustained a fractured collarbone and the living room was covered with gasoline and oil.
The ambulance took him to the local hospital and while he was there his wife and daughter cleaned up the debris, soaked up the gasoline in towels, and wrung them out in the toilet. Several hours later Mr. Insured returned home, full casted from neck to waist. Soon he went into the bathroom, where he lit a cigarette; he tossed the match into the toilet...
Needless to say the ambulance was called again. As they were carrying the battered and burned Mr. Insured out of the house one of the medics asked his wife what happened. Upon hearing the story both medics broke out laughing, slipped on the wet porch and dropped Mr. Insured, fracturing his arm. On the way to the hospital the ambulance was involved in an accident, but at least there were no further injuries. Talk about a bad day! The motorcycle was sold the next day!
Often life does not go according to our plans.
Your difficulties in life (2)
The trials you experience
Dokimion, proving the authenticity or validity of your faith!
The tests you endure
The troubles you encounter
Illustration - The life of Felix Manx
Conrad Grebel, George Blaurock and Felix Manz are names frequently found together in the history of the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland. They were frequently called upon to give account of themselves and their activities in the presence of civil authorities.
One is amazed at the courage, fortitude and depth of conviction of Manz, as a young man in his mid-20s. He suffered martyrdom before he was 30 years of age. He was the first Swiss Anabaptist to be martyred at the hands of the Protestant followers of Zwingli.
Manz was the son of an "illegitimate" Catholic priest in Zurich, Switzerland. He was well educated and became an enthusiastic evangelist who was instrumental in bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of people to faith in Jesus Christ.
During his lifetime he suffered much persecution and numerous imprisonments. In 1526, he had been condemned to prison where he was to eat bread and drink water until he would "die and rot."
At 3:00 p.m. on January 5, 1527, he was taken bound from his last imprisonment to be drowned in the cold waters of the river Limmat which flows through the heart of the city of Zurich. Last minute efforts on the part of the clergy to cause him to recant were of no avail. He could hear the supportive and encouraging voices of his mother and his brother who stood nearby on the shore. His last words were, "Into thy hands, O God, I commend my spirit.
Your development for life (3-4)
Life is tough. God desires to build you His way.
Why? For toughness, durability and for His glory!
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16