1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion. Greetings.
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. 5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways. 9 The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation, 10 but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities.12 A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
Triumph through trials begins with ATTITUDE
- James wants the church to live out its faith in the CRUCIBLE of life
- ENDURANCE is achieved through the difficulties of life as we trust God and obey God
- One way Christ likeness happens is through TRIALS in life
- Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and put in prison for crimes he didn’t commit and rose to 2nd in command in all of Egypt. Joseph extended grace to his brothers and helped them survive the famine.
- Job lost everything he had. His wife told him to “curse God and die”. Job responded with faith
- “You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Job 2:10
- The apostles in Acts 12 were jailed and told to never preach the Name of Jesus. They responded by leaving rejoicing that they were worthy to suffer for the Name of Christ.
- Paul knew through the Holy Spirit what was awaiting him in every town he went to preach–chains and afflictions. He considered his life of no value to himself, but chose to continue going forward preaching the Name of Jesus.
Triumph through trials involves FAITH
- Verses 5-8 speak of a humble heart CRYING out to God for guidance and direction
- We must ask in faith and BELIEVE that God will lead us through the trials of life
Triumph through trials involves HUMILITY
- In humility the poor forgets their EARTHLY poverty and rests in God
- In humility the rich forgets their WEALTH and rests in God
Triumph through trials invites BLESSING
- Bestowed by God upon those who FAITHFULLY and PATIENTLY endure the trials of life
When we face trials with the attitude James admonishes us to display we discover that the greatest part of the joy is drawing CLOSER to Christ and becoming more sensitive to His PRESENCE, His GOODNESS, his LOVE and His GRACE.