James 1:1-8 A Godly View Of Trials

by | Aug 11, 2023 | James, New Testament

I. Introduction V. 1

A. James

1. Bondservant-A willing slave, committed for life. Property of another, but by choice.
2.Half-brother of Jesus-Tradition points to James being the half-brother of Jesus.

a. Matthew 13:55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?

3. Leader of Jerusalem Church- Acts 15:13

4. Did not believe in Jesus until after the resurrection- John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7

B. The Twelve Tribes

1. This letter is for all Christians, but the early church consisted primarily of converted Jews.
2. Galatians 2:7-9 explains that Paul and Barnabus were sent to the Gentiles, but Peter, James, and John were sent to the Jews.
3. James probably wrote before many Gentiles had been converted.
4. Scattered-because of persecution against the early church in Jerusalem.

II. Trials Vs. 2-8

A. What Are Trials?

1. V. 2- Trials– an experiment, an attempt, a proving, a test of one’s fidelity and virtue, an enticement to sin, a test sent by God to prove one’s character, or sent by Satan to destroy.
2. Not every trial is from God or from Satan. We live in a fallen world; life challenges us.

a. God may or may not cause you to get a flat tire.
b. Satan may or may not cause someone to be rude to you.
c. The Bible doesn’t tell us to analyze the source of the trial. That’s an impossible task.
d. The Bible does tell us how to get through trials and how to view them.
e. Whether God sent the trial or allowed it, is undiscoverable and doesn’t matter.

3. Some trials are tests from God, designed to prove who/what we are, and bring God glory

a. Genesis 22:12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
b. John 6:5-6 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

4. Some trials are enticements from Satan, designed to hurt us.

a. Luke 4:1-2 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

5. In Job, we see God seeking to prove Job’s holiness, while Satan seeks to destroy him.

a. Job 1:6-12 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

B. What Should Our Attitude Be? V.2

1. Count it all joy-consider this to be true. It has nothing to do with feelings.

a. It doesn’t say, “feel it all joy”. It says consider it as something that can bring joy.
b. Be joyful over this fact: If trials and met with faith, they produce patience.

2. When- not if, but when. We are promised trials in this life.

a. Acts 14:22 “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

3. Fall into-unexpectedly. These are trials that are not the result of our own wrongdoing.

C. What Trials Accomplish Vs. 3, 4

1. Knowing that– If we have endured trials in faith, we know these promises are true.
2. Testing of faith– Faith is tested in trials. Trials reveal the quality & quantity of our faith

a. Trials don’t produce more faith, but they can produce more patience.
b. When trials are received with faith, they produce more patience.
c. If trials are received with doubt and fear, they produce bitterness & discouragement.

3. Patience- Not passive waiting, but active endurance. Like finishing a marathon.

a. Remaining under a heavy load instead of trying to escape it by any means possible.
b. NOTE- All trials eventually pass. Better to gain patience than to just escape them.

4. Perfect work-Our patience must be as long as our trial. 80% patience is not enough.

a. The trial will end. Will we choose to be patient up until the end?
b. Satan, the world, and our flesh will tell us “We’ve been patient long enough”.

5. Perfect- mature, full of age.
6. Complete, lacking nothing- Not missing anything. Not lacking anything.

D. How To Consider It Joy Vs. 5-8

1. Knowledge-The context of the passage is that benefits come from enduring trials.
2. Wisdom- the right application of knowledge.

a. Knowledge- if you endure trials with faith, will gain patience and maturity.
b. Wisdom- Since that is true, I ought to be joyful of the expected result, I need to keep in mind the promised result, and I need to let the process run its course.

3. The Disconnect- We are told those things are true, but the trials are hard, and our emotions get the best of us. We forget the promises and look for ways of escape.

a. We complain in the trials. We broadcast our difficulties to God and to everyone.
b. We get stuck in the trial and gain little or nothing from the trial due to lack of faith.
c. We emotionally crash and burn, shocked by the trial, and defeated in the trial.

4. The Remedy-  Wisdom is the remedy. Remembering what God has said about trials.

a. Choosing to live by faith and truth instead of feelings.
b. Ask God for wisdom that will help you endure your trial in faith, and as a result, have more patience, which is a joyful thing.
c. You will also be more mature, not lacking the things a mature Christian possesses.

5. V. 5 Ask- Ask of God, not of men, not of books. (Yes, God can use people and books)

a. God gives wisdom liberally to those who ask in faith; he doesn’t resent us asking.
b. We are not asking how to deal with the trial, but to have the wisdom to consider it joy
c. “Give me wisdom to not strike back, to not seek revenge, to not look for an escape, but to wisely endure what you have for me, knowing that it will produce much”.
d. If we are mindful that trials can produce patience and maturity in us, we will endure them in faith, and not be complaining, or looking for an ungodly escape.
e. God may release us from a trial, but it is ours to endure in faith until we are released.

6. V. 6 Ask in faith, not doubting- weak faith is still faith. A doubled minded man considers other options and thinks maybe there is a better way than God.