21 Sep 9/21/16 “TRIALS HAVE A PURPOSE” – Pastor Shane Idleman
Trials Have a Purpose
Written as early as A.D. 45 – possibly 12 to 15 years after Christ.
1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
“Bondservant” – I am bound to serve – this will change your view of trials.
Who was James: 1. Many say the brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). 2. Head of the church in Jerusalem church; mentioned as a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9). 3. Was not a believer (John 7:3-5) until after the resurrection (Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19). 4. According to Josephus, he was killed in 62A.D.
Martin Luther said, “the epistle of straw” because it emphasized works – “faith without works is dead.”
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad – the tribes were scattered and absorbed into the culture.
* James was calling out accepted sins within the Church.
* The Way of the Lord is Not Fair
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Matthew Henry Commentary – “Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God’s love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us.”
– Patience – waiting and not reacting AND Wisdom – applying the truth
1. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” – These are trials as the result of being a Christian not trials as the result of sin – one we need to persevere in, the other we need to repent of.
Paul vs. the Children of Israel
2. “The testing of your faith produces patience” if you are joyful, but not if you are angry and bitter. “Count it all joy” shows us how to go thru trials.
This doesn’t mean that we are happy about our trials, but joy-filled because we trust in God in the midst of the trial. His sovereignty brings peace.
3. “But let patience have its perfect [COMPLETE] work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”Not in short supply – inadequate [insufficient].
With PATIENCE, you will not be in short supply. When you have God, you lack nothing.
4. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” This is overall wisdom, but more specifically, wisdom through trials.
A] Start with God, not Mastercard; not a mean email; not a lawsuit; not a resignation.
B] We ask and trust [faith], but then we must wait. Instead, we often cave in, giving God exactly 24 hours or we’re moving on to Plan B. I better take charge.
C] Double minded danger – Compromising – going back to old habits. So what’s the answer – “single mindedness.”
APPLICATION: Like exercise, Trials Have A Purpose – Clay in the Hands of the Potter – stay filled with Joy and Worship God thru the trial.