The Pain Of Your Trial Produces The Power For Tomorrow.
TEXT: James 1:1–11
THE PAIN OF YOUR TRIAL PRODUCES THE POWER FOR TOMORROW.
Read James 1:1 and take note of the italicized words as we unpack this verse.
James was the half brother of Jesus.
Galatians 1:19 says, “The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother.”
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, neither James nor the other siblings were followers of Jesus.
John 7:5 says, “For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.”
A personal resurrection appearance convinced James that Jesus was the Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:7 says, “Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.”
James became the leader of the Jerusalem church after Peter’s arrest and departure from Jerusalem (Acts 12 & 15).
Acts 21:18 says, “The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present.”
Galatians 2:9 says, “In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews.”
Slave or bondservant — Doulos is the greek word. James understood that he was a servant of God. Doulos means a servant who willingly commits himself to serve a master he loves and respects.
James life did not belong to him, but was a gift from God and he would spend the rest of his life living for Christ.
I am writing — James was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit AD 44–49, making it the earliest written book of the New Testament.
Twelve tribes — This was a common New Testament title for Jews. James writes to Jewish Christians who have been scattered by persecution, which began with the stoning of Stephen in Acts 8.
James encourages believers to endure their trials and keep the faith.
Scattered abroad — Diaspora is the greek word, which means through a sowing. Jews living outside of the land of Palestine. Many Jews were taken to Rome as slaves when the Romans conquered in 63 BC.
In James 1:2–11, we find three truths.
1. Christ-followers will experience trials. v.2a
Suffering is part of the Christian life.
We see this in the life of Jesus.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
We see suffering in the life of Paul.
Roman 8:17 says, “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”
1 Peter 4:12–13 says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad — for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
Peter echoes the words found in James 1:2 that we are to consider the trials in this life with great joy.
2. Christ-followers should grow from trials. vs.3–4
How we react under pressure reveals the depth of character.
Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth.
Romans 5:3–4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
In verse 3, we find the word testing. Testing means the act of proving the worth of something.
The furnace of suffering produces endurance.
The furnace of suffering results in our greatest joy; namely conformity to Christ.
Romans 8:28–29 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son”
Our greater good is Christlikeness.
Philippians 3:12–14 says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
Endurance is not the final goal. Maturity & completion in Christ is our final goal.
3. Christ-followers will overcome trials. vs.5–11
Romans 8:37 says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
We overcome trials by:
- Asking for wisdom. Read verse 5.
- Not waivering. Be consistent. Read verses 6–8.
- Being Humble & Dependent upon the Lord. Read verses 9–11.
We will endure these trials for our good and God’s glory.
1 John 4:4 says, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
Our response to the trials reveals our heart.
Our response in the fire reveals if we have faith that will endure.
1 John 5:5 says, “And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Thank you God for the trials today that will be used as a testimony of your goodness tomorrow!
by Tim O'Carroll
What is your response to suffering?
Do you trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God?