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Trials + Endurance = Joy ?

October 23, 2015

James 1-12

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:

Greetings.

 

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Good Morning Men.

I started a video series on the book of James, twelve short videos with Pastor Francis Chan.

This morning I went through the first twelve verses and wanted to share my notes with you. God’s timing is amazing, for this in my life, and I know it will be for many of you too.

Please forgive the brevity of some of the concepts as I was taking notes while Francis spoke.

The opening thought/prayer for this first video hits home for me:

“Give me the wisdom I need, in order to navigate through this life in a way that honors You.”

The desire for this statement sums up this book very well.

In the first verse the author James is writing to the twelve tribes, that have been “scattered abroad” due to massive persecution, killing, torture, theft, and everything in between. James is talking to God’s people who have recently experienced all or some type of treatment like this. This is the audience of this book, however, we may all sympathize with this because we all have trials in our lives. Maybe not as severe, but it may feel like it at times.

Profiting from Trials

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

All this stuff, persecution, death, fear, etc is making us stronger. This, if we allow it will make us stronger. This is not a coincidence. This is not a waste. God wants to use this.

Testing – the word used here in the Greek, was taken from the art silversmiths use; they continuously reheat the silver, removing the dross. The way they know it’s all gone is when they look down at it, they can see their reflection.

God’s goal is we are reflections of Him!

Not just to make us happy, God wants to make us whole!

Can you say, I wanna be like Jesus? Father, whatever trials it takes, give it to me?

 

But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

All of these trials, and experiences we face can be given the analogy of baking a cake. The individual ingredients do not necessarily taste good, but its the end result. Cakes usually don’t taste good until the end. Just like the experiences we face may not feel good in the present, but in the end when we look back at what God has done in us, we can appreciate it!

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.

Trials are for your benefit, if you cannot see that, pray for wisdom.

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.

Whatever we do, do not doubt.

For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

We do not want to be the double-minded man…unstable in all his ways…yikes. All his ways…

The Perspective of Rich and Poor

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,

The riches of this life are unstable. Recognize that when life is so easy and so good, that may not always be the best thing for us.

10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.

Like the flowers in a field, so are the riches of this life. Here one day, gone the next.

Loving God Under Trials

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres! The crown of life is promised to those who love Him!

It is easy to love God when things are good, and everything makes you happy. What about when God says we are gonna face trials because it is gonna produce character? What if God also says you are not only here on earth to be free and happy?

I hope and pray you got something. Last paragraph is very different logic from what many of us think and hear around us today, right? May the Lord gives you eyes to see, and ears to hear. Amen.

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From → Nibble of Bread

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