James 1:1-8; 12-15
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Sunday, January 11, 2015 our Pastor’s sermon was based on this passage. I checked the website and that sermon is now available in the streaming archive should you want to have a listen.
Just sharing a couple of points from his sermon – my version.
- When (not if) trials come, God is developing, forming and shaping us with integrity.
- If trials are coming (currently), God is working in you to produce who He wants you to be.
- The word trials in v. 2-3 and the word temptation in v. 13 have the same Greek root. V. 2-3 has the emphasis on difficulties that come from outside; in v. 13-15 the emphasis is on inner moral trials such as temptation to sin.
- Trials – think about joy – believe God gives wisdom generously
- Trials produce endurance, perseverance – lead to maturity...
Likely, none of this is new for you but I share it because trials may be slamming you right now and it may help to be reminded that trials are common to mankind. God can be beside you through the rough stuff with help and hope for the future - believe then confess and be made new inside.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 10:9-109 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
The trials may not be taken away but you will be more purely conformed to the person He designed you to be and wants you to be. In time you will see that his hand has lovingly guided you.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.