James: Embracing Trials
Why am we surprised when trials come into our lives? So often my response is one of shock. “Why is this happening to me? What did I ever do to deserve this?”
Yet, God’s Word clearly says, “Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). Trials DO come into the lives of believers. In fact, life in this “era between the gardens” is full of trials.
So, how do we respond to trials? Do we embrace our trials or do we waste them?
Join Pastor Larry as he openly explores the passage in James 1 that begins with this directive: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (v. 2).
Seriously? “Count it all joy?” How does that work?
1.What truths of the gospel enable Christians to count trials in their lives as joy?
2. What is a trial that you think you are currently experiencing? (Note that trials are of “various kinds” and could include any thing that is testing you—not just intense cases like death, cancer, divorce, etc.)
3. How is it trying you? (In other words, what is it revealing or challenging in you?)
4. How could it refine you?
5. How is your soul as you are going through this trial?
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. (ESV)