Faith Tested By Trials (James 1:2-8)Rev. Sid Dyer, August 29, 2021
Preached at a Sunday Morning service
The author is James, Jesus' brother. He was prominent in the early church, and was the moderator of the Jerusalem Council. The letter is addressed to Jewish Christians in Palestine. This book is one of the earliest written, about AD 44. He writes to prove that Christianity is genuine. He begins by commanding Christians to rejoice in various trials, in pure joy. Trials come upon us unexpectedly. They tend to surround us. Meeting this standard can be very difficult. Why are we to count trials in joy? They produce steadfastness, or endurance. Testing is to assay the purity, the genuineness of something. The more we are purified, the closer to Christ we are. What if we don't learn the lesson the Lord has for us? He might give us another trial. Learning patience is progressive, aiming toward Christian maturity. Our objective is to be lacking nothing. James connects joy with Christ-likeness. Lacking wisdom in the facing of trial, we must ask God for knowledge and skill. God eagerly gives wisdom to us by His Word, aided by the witness of the Holy Spirit, when we ask in faith. We cannot expect anything without faith, or with a spirit of doubting. We are tempted to look for easy ways out if we are doubting. Endurance and maturity are what God wants for His children.
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James 1:2–8 (Listen)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.