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Posts Tagged ‘Trials’

James – Wednedsday, March 4

October 22, 2018 10 comments

trial-faithJAMES 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Notice the word consider in this passage. It’s a word that means to count or esteem something; to suppose something. In our trials, we’re to consider, count, esteem, or suppose them to be pure joy.

The key to doing this is to know something. In our trials, we need to know (and remember) that these tests are accomplishing something in us. Because of our trials, we’re growing in patience (endurance, constancy, steadfastness). We become stable, dependable people who are not likely to change or waiver because of difficulty. It is much like tempered steel—the only way steel becomes hardened or flexible to that degree is to subject it to extreme heat and pounding.

The same is true of our lives of faith. This is what brings us joy … knowing this truth. Our trials are making us stronger.

There is a danger to this process, however. It’s possible to short-circuit the effect of our trials. We must let them run their due course, and remain under the fire as long as the Lord deems it necessary. We gain wisdom in these things by asking Him (see James 1:5)!

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. Someone once said that the Christian is either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or heading into a trial. To the degree that statement is true, where are you in that statement?

2. Do you believe in this process of God? Do you trust Him that He knows what He is doing in your life? Are you confident in His infinite wisdom and unending love, and that He is 100% motivated to produce His best in us? If not, tell Him right now. And ask Him to strengthen your faith and commitment to His ways.

3. How have you short-circuited a time of trial in your life? If you’re going through trials right now, make sure to let the Lord finish His lesson. Make this a matter of prayer as well. Assignment: tell a close and trusted friend about your current trial, and ask him/her to pray for you (men with men and women to women).

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James – Monday, March 9

test_of_trials_front_book_cover-1JAMES 1:12

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16), James gives his readers another of the New Covenant beatitudes (see Matthew 5:3-11 for a comparison). In this passage, the blessing is promised to those who persevere under trial. Since the word for trial (peirasmos) seems to be used in two different ways, Albert Barnes’ comment helps us:

“It denotes anything that will try or test the reality of our religion; and it may be applied, therefore, either to afflictions or to direct solicitations to sin…”

Therefore, whether we are facing pressures stemming from trying circumstances or from evils which are threatening us in sin’s direction, we need to persevere. We need to remain, to endure, to be strong.

In other words, we need to be like Jesus, who “for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

The reward will not only be discovered in this life; in eternity, those who endure will receive the crown of life. It will be a heavenly reward.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. What sort of tests regarding the reality of your religion are you facing in your life right now? How are you handling them?

2. List some of the benefits you’ve experienced from having endured or persevered in something in the past. How have they encouraged you to “keep on keeping on”? How can your trials benefit others going through their own trials?

3. How should the promise of James 1:12 influence your life towards godliness and spiritual maturity?

James – Tuesday, March 3

March 2, 2009 5 comments

trial-faith2JAMES 1:2-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James’ addressees are Jewish believers in Messiah. We know they are believers because he refers to them as brothers.

As believers in Christ, we live a radically different kind of life, a life which is the polar opposite of the way of the world around us. An example of this difference is in the way we deal with our trials.

The word “trials” is the Greek word peirasmos, which can refer to something that tests us, or something that tempts us. In this context, James is using it to mean those things that test us—things that are very difficult for us.

For example, Jesus went through many kinds of trials as He lived in the flesh (Luke 22:28). These trials included extreme weariness, homelessness, abandonment by others, rejection, ridicule, misunderstanding, and ultimately the sufferings of the cross.

The apostle Paul experienced trials due to the plotting of unbelieving Jews against him (Acts 20:19). Later, Paul mentioned his fleshly trial, which was apparently a physical challenge relating to his eyesight (Galatians 4:14).

We believers are to consider it pure joy when we fall into various trials. Rather than run from them or get bummed out about them, we’re to rejoice in them, by faith. This is a major part of Christian life, and must be learned if we are to be mature believers.

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. Have you experienced the principle of rejoicing in trials? If so, think of an example. What took place? What was the “trigger” that caused you to rejoice?

2. What kind of pressures, difficulties, or pain have you had to endure most recently? How have you specifically dealt with them?

3. Close today’s devotion in prayer. Ask the Father to give you wisdom in your trials, and make a commitment to trust the Holy Spirit to help you with a godly perspective and response toward what you’re dealing with right now.