God Does Not Waste Your Adversity

Q.U.E.S.T.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  37:51
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Jesus Christ had finished His work here on earth and ascended to His father in heaven some 18-21 years before this book was written (45-48 AD).
The Apostle Paul was already on the scene, was or had spent a year in Antioch and Jerusalem being taught and teaching himself before setting out on his first missionary journey and writing the Epistle to the Galatians about the time that this book was written.
Antioch was beginning to become the central parent church in the region, second only to the Jerusalem church, where James was pastoring.
We know that the persecution was intense for the church in Jerusalem. Paul took collections for their needs (Rom. 16:26) and James himself was writing to those who, due to persecution, had been dispersed (Acts 6-8; 11:19-24; James 1:1). The persecution from the Romans was intense enough, but even the Jews themselves were engaged in an attempt to extinguish this sect of religion (Acts 8:1).
Being scattered from the church God had placed him to under-shepherd, James was now writing to encourage those who had been dispersed. These were likely established, mature believers who had been taught and discipled there in Jerusalem. It seems that their main struggle at this point was how that teaching should impact their response and actions in the midst of this persecution they were experiencing. This letter comes across to its readers as a written sermon.
His sermon contains contributions to our understanding of the relationship between faith and works, the impact of prayer, the nature of God, and the origin of sin and wisdom.
His sermon to them has two themes that are threaded throughout this short letter. First, don’t loose heart, but rather consider it joyful when adversity comes, knowing that God is at work through it and will not waste it’s intensity. Second, no matter your circumstance, keep your focus on your faith and relationship with the Lord. No circumstance justifies or excuses a lapse in spiritual integrity.
These two themes can be seen in the sermon’s structure. We can outline it as:
Simple Outline of James:
++3 things for tough times (Ch. 1)
++3 Distractions (Ch. 2-3)
++3 Lies (Ch. 4-5:6)
++3 Habits for tough times (5:7-20, “Be Patient,” “Be Real,” “Pray.”)
In Chapter 1, we are given 3 things for tough times.
Chapter 1
++Trust God vv. 1-11
++Cherish Truth vv. 12-20
++Practice Truth vv. 21-27
The Big Idea:
Let adversity bring your faith into focus.
So, what are we to take away from these first 8 or 9 verses about trusting God that will help bring our faith into focus?

Trust God uses adversity to produce enduring strength in you vv. 1-4

Trusting God:
++Trusting God is an activity, not a thought or feeling v. 2
++Trusting God is based on knowledge v. 3
++Trusting God actively, completes you v. 4

Trust God gives wisdom on how to trust God, if you ask! vv. 5-8

Asking God:
++If you struggle to trust God, ask Him for help v. 5
++If you ask God for help you trust Him, He will give it v. 5b
++Make sure your asking is based on your faith, not because you are worthy vv. 6-8

Trust God will reward your trust in Him v. 12

Receiving from God:
++Trusting God in adversity is the only path to being happy (“Blessed”)
++Trusting God in adversity is the only path to realizing genuine faith (“approved”)
++Trusting God in adversity is the only path to the reward for your faith (“crown of life”)
“A reward is promised to the Christian who successfully meets the test: the crown of life. The word crown (stephanos) sometimes refers to a royal crown, but is more frequently used of the laurel wreath given to the victorious athlete (see 1 Cor. 9:25) and, figuratively, symbolizes glory and honour. It is this last meaning that fits best here. The crownis the emblem of spiritual success, given by the King of the universe to those who ‘keep their faith’ in the midst of suffering and temptation. Life should be taken as identifying the reward—‘the reward that is life’. This lifeis, of course, not physical life, but eternal life, the enjoyment of God’s presence on into eternity. Revelation 2:10, a word of Jesus addressed to suffering Christians, closely parallels the thought here: ‘Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.’ Even when enduring the trial means physical death, life is the reward for those who love God. This love for God is demonstrated by, and perfected in, our willingness to suffer [accept suffering when it comes] for the cause of Christ.” [1]
“The guiding principle of his entire first chapter is the right understanding of wisdom. Right understanding means a life that puts faith and action together. Right understanding means putting the promise of God ahead of the cares of this life and receiving assurance of life to come beyond death. Right understanding about wise action is blessedness. Anything can be endured with this wisdom because the reward of divine life has been secured for the believer.” [2]
[1]Douglas J. Moo, James: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 73.
[2] Kurt A. Richardson, James, vol. 36, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), 76.
If you want your “faith” to be real, to mean something in your life, you have no choice, you must trust God in adversity, knowing that He will not waste that hurt, but use it to bring your faith into focus. Please remember, when you struggle to trust God, all He asks of you is to ask Him to help you trust Him more, based on faith in Christ. In your hurt, you are not alone. God gives wisdom to those who ask and He gives His body, the church, to partner with you on your journey (Gal. 5).
You are not alone:
++Trust God’s completing of you,
++Ask for help trusting,
++Then and only then you can enjoy the genuineness of your faith.
The Big Idea:
Let adversity bring your faith into focus.
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 NASB
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more