Sunday, July 23, 2006

JAMES 1:2-12

Introduction: James is writing this letter to the 'twelve tribes scattered abroad'. We should understand this to mean, primarily those Christian Jews who had been scattered because of persecution that arose around the time of the martyrdom of Stephen, and secondarily, all Jews everywhere who had been dispersed into all the earth. Since those present at Pentecost who had believed had probably returned home by now and continued their worship in the synagogues, this letter goes out to them as a comfort in their individual persecutions as well.
In these verses James tells these Christians to count their trials as their joy, since trials were the testing of their faith, the testing of their faith produces patience, and patience produces maturity and eventually perfection as they will receive the crown of life promised to those who love God.
I. Joy In Suffering vv. 2-4 Matt. 5:10-12
A. Regard trials as your Joy
1. The Command
2. What Is Joy?
B. How Can Trials Produce This Joy?
1. Know That Trials Test Your Faith
2. Know That Testing Produces Patience (Endurance)
3. Know That Patience Brings Us To Completion
Heb. 7:5-9, 12:1-4
II. Wisdom In Uncertainty v. 5 Romans 8:28
A. God Gives Wisdom Freely
B. God Gives Wisdom Graciously
III. Certainty In Prayer vv. 6-8
A. Ask In Faith (knowing that God will not withhold anything from His children that will bring them to completion)
B. Without Doubting
1. The Doubter Is Carried Along By Every Trial
2. Will Not Receive Anything From God
C. In Singleness Of Mind
1. With An Eye To The Goal
2. Not Pulled In Different Directions
IV. Contentment in Circumstances vv. 9-11
A. The Poor Should Boast In Their Exalted Position In Christ
B. The Rich Should Boast In The Reproach Of The World
C. Riches Fade And The One Who Trusts In Them Will Fade With Them
V. Faithfulness In Temptations v. 12
A. The Joy Of Faithfulness
B. The Approval Of Faith 1 Peter 1:6-9
C. The Reward Of Love For God
Conclusion: Count your trials as joy, because your trials prepare you to see God, the hope of eternity.

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