James 1:2-12 - Endurance Through Trials

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*the path of life is not an easy path to walk.  Life is filled with all kinds of trials and temptations.  You have probably heard the saying, “when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade!”  Throughout the Bible there are people who have turned:

Defeat into victory

Trial into triumph

They were, Victors instead of victims – temptation on the outside (1:1-12) \ inside (1:13-27).  Do you want to turn your trials into triumphs?  Then we must obey four imperatives:

count    (1:2)                 -a joyful attitude

know    (1:3)                -an understanding mind

let         (1:4, 9-11)        -a surrendered will

ask       (1:5-8)              -a heart that wants to believe

B.                The Fact Of Trials.

1.                  We Will Have Many Trials and Temptations (v.2).

a)                  God tells us to expect trials.

(1)                 It is not as “if you fall into various trials” but “when you fall into various trials”

Jesus warned His disciples “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)

Paul told his converts that “we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

Peter emphasized this in his first letter “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; (1 Peter 4:12 NKJV)

(2)                 Definition of trials – temptations To try; to test; to prove

b)                  God allows temptations and trials for a purpose.

(1)                 To make us stronger and much more pure and righteous
(a)                 Sandpaper (how it works): It's the friction that smoothes out the rough edges
(b)                Oyster (how it works): A grain of sand (acts an irritant) until it forms a beautiful Pearl!!!
(c)                 Melting of metal            (how it works): By conquering them we become much more like Christ

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV)

c)                  God tells us to count – a joyful attitude (v.2a).

(1)                 It means “to evaluate” When we become Christians we must evaluate our life and set new goals (Philippians 3:13-14)
(2)                 We must evaluate the trials of life in the light of what God is doing for us, & live for the things that matter the most.  What matter the most to you?

d)                  Our values determine our evaluations.

(1)                 If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us.
(2)                 If we value the material more than the spiritual, then we will not be able to “count it all joy.”
(3)                 If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter, not better.

Job had the right attitude and outlook, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, (not if, but when) I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10 NKJV)

2.                  The source of endurance: testing, trials, temptations (v.3).

a)                  God tells us to know something – an understanding mind.

(1)                 Faith is always tested.  The testing of your faith produces patience “patience” means, “to be steadfast, more persevering, more enduring.  God tested Abraham in order to increase his faith
(2)                 1 Peter 1:6-7 - Testing works for us not against us. 
(a)                 Satan tempts us to bring out the worst – He roams around. Seeking whom he may devour (1P5:8)
(b)                God tests us to bring out the best (Romans 8:28 cf. 1 Peter 1:7).
(3)                 It’s our choice in which way we respond (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  Most of us ask the Lord to change the circumstances God does not want to change the circumstances, He wants to change you.

3.                  The condition of endurance: must let trials do their work (v.4a).

a)                  God tells us to let something happen – a surrendered will.

(1)                 What does God want to produce in our lives?  Patience, endurance, and the ability to keep going when things get tough!
(2)                 Romans 5:3-5 –
(a)                 “patience” does not mean “to just put up with the trials or circumstances”
(b)                “patience” means “to persevere and keep on persevering, never giving in”, “to take the initiative and to exert the energy and effort to conquer”, “to gain the victory and to triumph over the trial and temptation”
(3)                 God wants us to grow up.
(a)                 Illustration of Brittany not growing up
(b)                God want’s our cooperation – (Philippians 2:12-13)
(c)                 If we resist Him, then He chastens us into submission
(d)                If we submit to Him, then He can accomplish His work.
(4)                 Ephesians 2:8-10          
(a)                 God’s work for us – salvation “saved by grace”
(b)                God’s work in us – sanctification “For we are His workmanship”
(c)                 God’s work through us – service “created in Christ Jesus for works”
(d)                When we look at trials and temptations as opportunities, then and only then will we begin to face them with joy, “the joy of the Lord!”
(e)                 Endurance cannot be attained by reading of book or even listening to me, but by going through the difficulties in life.  Jonah is an illustration of this.

Do you ever feel life you are the only one who has ever gone through this?               

Do you ever feel like there is no escape for you when you are tempted?1 Corinthians 10:13 cf. James 1:12    

4.                  The purpose and results of endurance (v.4b)

a)                  Makes one perfect.

(1)                 When a person stands against trial and temptations and conquers them:
(a)                 He perfects the purpose of God intended TO BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS.  
(b)                He perfects his task and purpose for being on earth a little bit more.
(b)Perfect means, “perfection of purpose,” an end, and aim, a goal, a purpose.

b)                  Makes one complete.

(1)                 A person becomes more and more complete in all parts
(a)                 You will become wholly fit, entire, perfectly sound, complete with no weaknesses, flaws, defects, or shortcomings.
(b)                Day by day – trial by trial and temptation by temptation, when we persevere under the circumstances, we become more like Jesus Christ. 

c)                  Lacking nothing.

(1)                 The person who lacks nothing wants nothing.  You will have all the abundance and the fullness of life.

5.                  The way to endure (v.5)

a)                  Ask wisdom of God

(1)                 God gives liberally
(2)                 God does not scold

b)                  Ask in faith – unwavering (v.6)

(1)                 Wavering illustrated
(2)                 Wavering receives nothing (v.7)
(3)                 Wavering shows instability (v.8)

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