Summary: The message deals that what we are to do when we are 1. in trouble 2. happy 3. sick 4. have sinned.

What Should I Do When..

James 5:13-20


A man was watching the news one night when it was reported that a car was going the wrong direction on the freeway. The man knew his wife was on that freeway and became very concerned so called her on her cell phone. She answered and he said, "Dear, there’s one car going in the wrong direction on the freeway." She exclaimed, "One car! There are hundreds of them!"

I would hope that you would not ask this lady what you should do or how you should get there. I am afraid you might not arrive in one piece. In life there are all kinds of questions we ask of others and of God. Where should I go? Should I pursue this? Is he/she the right one? Am I the right one?

Life is full of choices and full of surprises. Life often gives us multiple opportunities and many doors to walk through and that’s when we seek wisdom from others and the Lord.

What should I do? It is one question we will ask all through life and it is one that scripture answers for us this morning.

What Should I Do When I’m...

Scripture gives us answers to the question "What should I do when......?"

When I’m in trouble?

When I’m happy (blessed)?

When I’m sick?

When I’ve sinned?

In Trouble - Pray - v.13

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.

Of course, when in trouble we pray. Of all the times we follow commands in scripture it is during times of trial. When life takes a bad turn, when we sin and we pay the consequences, we call out "Ohhhhh Lord, help me out of this pit", and expect Him to get us out of it.

I really believe we call on the Lord at times like this but we do it after we have tried to fix it ourselves. I am convinced at the moment we encounter trouble we are to go to the Lord in prayer. Don’t wait until you think it is too big for you to handle, pray at the on set of trouble and trust the Lord for the resolution.

Happy - Praise - v. 13

Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

When life is going good and everything seems to be going well, we forget about the Lord and His word. We ignore Him. Of all the wrongs we do against the Lord, it is this, "we take the credit for His doing". The warning is found in Deuteronomy 8:10-18, it says,

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

Unfortunately for the Israelites, they did not heed this warning and they suffered for it. Eventually, they lost the land AND their fellowship with God. Like wise, we forget too often that He provides and we ought to praise Him.

Truly, He is due praise and honor and glory daily just because He is the Lord. When life is going good start each day by saying, "Thank you Lord!" and acknowledge Him for who He is.

Sick - Elder Prayer Warriors - v. 14-15

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.

I believe this scripture is often misunderstood. First let me say, the Lord heals physically whom He chooses and our activity does not obligate the Lord in any way. In other words, the Lord does as He wills and it is always for the best. Yes, I said always.

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