God of Trials - Genuine Faith - Book of James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings


On Twitter recently, NFL star Ndamukong Suh proceeded to, as the young ones call it, “spill some tea.” Except this time, the salacious details were not about another player or celebrity, but rather, himself.
A veteran defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Suh spent some time reflecting on the approximately three years he spent with the Miami Dolphins. Having just signed a tremendously expensive contract with the team, Suh said he arrived in Mami with the desire to make an impact on the organization. But he failed because he had “[zero] tact.” Suh tweeted, “If you’re not careful about how you do things, you end up being the bad guy.”
Though it wasn’t his intent, Suh explained how it happened. “For a long time in my career, I was always just saying what I wanted to say. Never thinking about how I delivered the message … I was just making my opinion known, regardless of how it impacted others.”
Within two years, Suh realized the net effect of this approach. “I was … creating divisions on the team … pushing people away … [and it was] putting me in a negative headspace.”
But eventually he figured out a better way. “So what did I start doing that I still do today? I listened way more than I talked, I paid attention to HOW I interacted with people, I observed others’ reactions and adjusted as needed, and I chose my words carefully to be more empathetic.”
In his conclusion, Suh claims that emotional intelligence, or EQ, is more important than IQ (intelligence quotient). He said, “Don’t just think about you want. Think about what others want.”
Let us Pray
James 1:1-27
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
Testing of Your Faith
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Hearing and Doing the Word
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
God wants His people to triumph over their trials but also to live in obedience to His commandments. As followers of Christ, we need to develop perseverance in trials and accept the outcome no matter the results.
I. How to Be Tried and True (vv. 1–18)
We face trials of outward trial and persecution and inward temptations
Outward trials and persecutions -
1. Response to trials - Rejoice in temptation—v. 2.
James is not calling us to seek trials nor act as if they are pleasant – trials cause –
See this as an occasion for joy because of what it will produce in us
2. Reason for temptation—v. 3.
To produce the fruit of perseverance – immovable, purposefulness, persistence – rooted in the staying power because of our trust in God
Spiritually complete – lacking nothing – wholeness
B. THE PROMISE—vv. 5–8
1. Wisdom—v. 5. If need wisdom, ask of God.
More than intellect and knowledge – comes from a wholehearted love for God
Wisdom from God gives believers the necessary commitment to follow God and not wander
God is a giving God, who gives generously, without blame or finding fault, and to bless not humiliate us
2. Wavering—v. 6. Ask in faith, without doubting.
He gives to all – to favorites – must believe – no doubt
Must be grounded in Christ
3. Wrong—vv. 7–8.
a. Doubt robs people from receiving things from God.
Unstable spiritually
b. Double-minded people are unstable in their ways.
1. Praise—v. 9. Rejoice when exalted. Be thankful.
Not matter the amount in your bank account -
2. Passing—v. 10. Life is short, soon passes away.
We cannot take anything with us –
3. Perishable—v. 11. All riches and material gain will pass away. Where is your treasure?
D. THE PROBLEMS—vv. 12–16
Blessed – inner quality of joy resting in the Lord and unaffected by external events
1. Enduring temptations—v. 12. Will be rewarded.
When you face trials, when you face temptations and remain unmoved, steadfast, persistent in your faith and relationship with Jesus
Rewarded with the crown of life – not a head piece but garland wreath that was placed before the victor in Olympics
Spiritual privilege showing God’s love and glory
Inward temptations
2. Evil of temptations—v. 13. God does not tempt.
God is not responsible for evil
God cannot participate in evil
God allows us to walk into and through temptation but He Himself does not tempt
3. Emotional temptation—vv. 14–15. Lust, sin, death.
Lured and enticed – it comes from within
Not lured by Kale and Liver and Onions
Give enticement a second look and are lured and bite the bait – that desire give life to sin and sin brings
Temptation is not sin – Jesus was tempted in the desert yet lived a sinfree life
4. Error of temptation—v. 16. Do not be misled.
Don’t allow the world to give permission to sin
Don’t allow the world to define sin -
1. Changeless—v. 17. All gifts from the changeless God.
Every good and perfect gift is from God.
He does not change
He does not fluctuate
II. The Danger of Listless Listening (vv. 19–27)
Here James warns us to not pretend but listen, obey instead of deceive, serve and not talk.
A. PURGING—vv. 19–21
A warning against ignoring God’s Word (vv. 19–21)
1. Tongue—v. 19. Swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Need to apply this to both our interactions with each and with God
Quick to listen – to others – difference between listen and hear – to listen is intentional
Do we allow God talk time in our lives? Prayers?
Slow to speak – slow to speak so we fully understand; prevents hasty not thought-out reactions
Slow to anger – we cannot hear from God with bitterness, unrighteous anger, resentment in our heart
A wise person listens to God and responds not reacts – is careful with words and actions
2. Temper—v. 20. Man’s wrath does not please God.
Prov. 29:22 – an angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.
Thomas Lea says it this way – It is impossible to look at the disorderly conduct of fighting believers and worship the God they profess to serve. This should make Christians cautious in our display of an angry spirit.
3. Tainted—v. 21. Need God’s Word to cleanse us.
Get rid of any attitude that does not align with God’s Word, God’s presence
In meekness, in submission and quietness accept the Word of God planted in your heart
B. THE PURITY—vv. 22–27
A contrast of responses to God’s command (vv. 22–25)
1. Deception—vv. 22–25. Hearing and doing His Word.
If all you do is hear the Word and do the Word – your deceive yourself
Literally, James is saying keep on becoming a doer of the Word
Luke 11:28 – Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Looks into the law – same word John used to describe the disciples bend over to look into the tomb –
According to Edgar Dale – we only remember 20% of what we hear but 95% of what teach others – we can only teach by doing –
Obedient Christians do these 4 –
1. Look intently into the Word
2. Continue to do what God says
3. Listen not hear – they don’t forget because they listened
4. Follow God’s Word
John 8:31 – 32 – says If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Psalm 1:1 – 3 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The evidence of listening to God’s Word (vv. 26–27)
2. Discipline—vv. 26–27. Control of the tongue.
If you do not hold your tongue – if you are quick to speak you deceive yourself
If not – your religion is worthless, empty
Unstained from the world, not polluted by the world – we can called to be in it not of it. Keep yourself from the selfishness of the world – speak what’s on your mind – you have a right to be heard,
Jesus had the right to be heard but He remained silent. Don’t engage with fools less you be brought to their level
• God permits trials to develop stamina in his people.
• God gives rewards to those who show their love for him by enduring trials.
• God does not use evil to tempt his children to disobedience.
• All good has its source in our God.
• Submission to God’s demands brings a blessing in the act of obeying.
• Controlling what we say gives evidence of our obedience.
• Caring for the weak and needy shows we are following Christ.
• Face the trials of life with faith in God.
• Ask God for insight whenever you fail to understand his ways in your life.
• Accept responsibility for your own sins and failures.
• Obey God’s Word when you hear it.
• Be unselfish in service to others.
• Separate yourself from sin.
The Great Philosopher Obi Wan Kenobi once said - “Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?”
Prov. 17:28: “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue
Abraham Lincoln said it this way - Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
Prov. 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Listening is intentional, hearing is allowing sound to enter you mind -
How are you with the quick to listen? Do you really listen or just hear?
How are you with the slow to speak? Do you really listen to others? God? Or are you just quick to give your own 2 cents?
How quick are you to anger?
How would you classify yourself – a Christian doer or a Christian hearer?
How would others classify you?
How are you going to apply God’s word from James’ letter in your life? How will you allow it to change you?
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more