General letter to all churches – scattered – This world is not our home
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
John 17:14 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
James 1:2 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds
-Why should we consider it joy?
-wouldn’t it be better to just be comfortable?
-wouldn’t it be awesome to live a life of ease as a Christian?
-who likes to be tested anyways?
Comfort and easy living was never promised, never possible.
John 16:33 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 14:27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
1 Peter 4:12 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
We will be tempted, we will have struggles, we will live a life in contest against the world.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
So why should be consider it joy when we face trials?
Trials – PT – Testing – Airborne School – Elite – training + testing + achievement
James 1:3-4 knowing that the testing of your faith produces [a]endurance. 4 And let [b]endurance have its perfect [c]result, so that you may be [d]perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Trials and testing strengthen us, not to harm us, but to ready us for the temptations of the world. God loves us enough to test us, refine us, make us ready for what the world will bring against us.
1 Peter 1:7 so that the [a]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [b]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests hearts.
But what of we can’t figure this out? What if we don’t understand the need for testing? What if, like a child, we just don’t get it?
James 1:5 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [a]without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Jesus answered those who asked him in faith. Many times the disciples asked in faith for clarification. But they asked in FAITH. To those who asked in an attempt to test him, to trap him, he gave no answer, only rebuke.
Matthew 23:27 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness
James 1: 6-8 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a [a]double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If you are asking, seeking answers, looking for wisdom, make sure that it is in faith. Do not be double minded! Either you are seeking or you are trying to reason, trap God into giving you something. Why bother? If we simply ask, he will give freely.
Matthew 7:9-11 Or what man is there among you [a]who, when his son asks for a loaf, [b]will give him a stone? 10 Or [c]if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
James 1:12 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has [m]been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him
There it is again, perseverance, endurance.
Luke 6:20-23 20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are [j]you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are [k]you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to [l]treat the prophets.
1 Peter 3: 14 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [a]are blessed. And do not fear their [b]intimidation, and do not be troubled
1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
The difference between trials and temptation.
James 1: 13-14 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [a]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [b]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
Seeming contradiction : Genesis 22:1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Nissah – to try or to test – KJV says tempt
What is the difference between trials and temptation? Motivation.
IF from God, it is for your good, if from satan, it is to make you fall.
James 1:15 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin [a]is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Wages of sin, the sinful man nature, is death. Don’t see temptations as trials, see them for what they are.
James 1:16 16 Do not be [a]deceived, my beloved brethren
Every good thing is from God. Not the world. Temptation is telling us that temporary reward is better than eternal. That immediate satisfaction is enough in itself. Remember, we are only here for a short time, eternity awaits.
James 1:17 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.
Hebrews 13:8 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
John 14:6 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me
John 10:30 0 I and the Father are [a]one.”
Malachi 3:6 “For [a]I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, [b]are not consumed.
God wants only the best for us!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I [a]have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:13 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
- Be what you are meant to be – followers of Jesus Christ!
James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be [a]a kind of first fruits [b]among His creatures.
Firstfruits – the very best, the first of the harvest, the perfect offering, brought for the by the word, Jesus. Cain vs Able
- Act like you know what you are doing, follow the example of Christ
James 1:19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
Quick to hear – listen
Slow to speak – be still
Slow to anger – Forgive
Matthew 6: 14-15 14 For if you forgive [a]others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive [b]others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
- Receive and bear fruit
Parable of the sower, well worked, fertile ground, garden.
- Be a doer, not just a knower
James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good [a]treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from [b]that which fills his heart.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
So why should we consider it joy? Because we have been chosen, we have been set apart. We are God’s children, his team, identified as his. These things we face we face because we belong to him. That is a reason for rejoicing!