When we deal with trials, contentions, and lack of faith, we can still have joy in the midst of our circumstances. Faith, or lack thereof, can determine the direction of one’s life and how we see the world around us. As we walk through the book of James, we find a how-to manual for the Christian life. Join us as we journey through the book a James and find out how to have a faith that works.
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James was the leader of the early church in Jerusalem. During his tenure, the church saw famine, hardships, and persecution from both Jews and Romans. James wrote this letter to encourage the church which had scattered abroad because of this persecution. Knowing the hardships they were facing, he said “Count it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (James 1:2) How is it possible to have joy in the midst of trouble?
James tells us that “the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (steadfastness, patience, endurance). And perseverance, when allowed to finish its work, makes us “mature, complete and not lacking anything.” (James 1:4) We won’t lack anything because all we need can be found in Jesus! Can you think of a time when God did a work in your life that you had to persevere, but it made you more complete because you relied on Jesus?
Pastor Glen said, “God is not so interested in getting you out of it as He is in taking you through it.” It is when we “remain under” (Greek – Hupomone) instead of complaining about or escaping the trial, that we are refined. Think about the trial you are going through right now – What do you think God can teach you during this time?
Job 5:7, 1 Peter 5:6, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10