Reality TV has become a popular genre for television over the last several decades. The reality is that they often don’t reflect “reality” at all. Situations may be scripted, participants are placed in artificial situations, outcomes are rigged, and on and on the list could go.
I think a false reality has often been painted regarding the Christian life. Some have the impression if you’re on God’s side, you will prosper financially, you’ll stay healthy, and relatively free of the trials others face.
That’s not reality! Jesus said in John 16:33: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Life is hard – the Christian life is hard – and trials are coming. Our series “Real Faith” is offered to help anticipate and deal with trials that come your way.
James 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.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT TRIALS
- How do you _______________ your trials?
“Consider it joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
- This word, “consider,” may be translated “_____________________.” This is a financial word.
- How do we evaluate something? We do it according to our ____________________.
- Why joy? James isn’t saying trials are all good. But each trial is an opportunity to ________________ God and to let him produce something in us, that wouldn’t be produced without trials.
- What kind of trials are we talking about and how do trials make us better, not bitter?
- We’re talking about ___________________ trials.
James said consider it joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.
Some trials come simply because we’re _______________________.
Some trials come specifically because we’re __________________ in Christ.
1 Peter 4:12: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
- Trials are the _____________ ________________ of our faith.
“The testing of our faith develops perseverance.” – James 1:3
“These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:7
- Trials help us to ____________________.
James said that the testing of our faith develops endurance or perseverance. Perseverance is _______________ the course. It’s stick-to-itiveness during great difficulty and challenge.
Jesus “for the joy set before him endured the cross.” – Hebrews 12:2
(All Biblical Passages are from the 1983 edition of the New International Version of the Bible)