How are we to respond to God and his love during trials?
James, like Jesus, lets us know that as believers we’re not shielded from trials but are called to count our trials as a cause for joy. Why? Because trials test our faith, and trials build perseverance.
James 1:2-5 NKJV My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
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. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.
Our Greatest Resource: James doesn’t say, “Got trials? Ask God to remove them.” He says to ask God for _______________.
The blessings Wisdom brings:
- Proverbs 4:6: “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.”
- Proverbs 14:8: “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
- Proverbs 16:16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!”
A pathway when you’re facing trials – whatever trials you’re facing today or tomorrow.
- Accept your trials as an ___________________________. An opportunity to trust God, instead of a reason to panic. A chance to go deeper with God, instead of staying in the shallow end of faith. An opportunity to build spiritual muscle and endurance.
- Admit that you need God’s __________________________________. I Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
- Ask for God’s _______________________________________. James said: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously” (James 1:5.) Some passages in the Bible are difficult to understand. This isn’t one of them.It’s important to understand that God’s often has different delivery systems for wisdom.
• He uses His __________________________.
• He uses God’s _______________________. Proverbs 13:10 says: “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
• He has put the _______________ ______________in us.
- Expect God’s ______________________________ – have faith. James said about wisdom: it will be given to him. That’s a promise!
See you next time when we will look at facing the trial of temptation.
Last week’s fill in the blank:
COUNT” “COUNT IT JOY
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- Do you agree or disagree with the statement that the wisdom of God is our single greatest resource? Why? If in a small group – list and discuss some of the blessings that come from God’s wisdom. If using for private devotional, construct a list of the blessings we derive from God’s Wisdom. In what ways does the world’s wisdom look different than God’s wisdom?
- What good opportunities present themselves spiritually because of the trials each of us face? What would our lives be like without the trials that test our faith? How does Satan use our trials to tempt us to doubt our forsake God?
- When we are undergoing trials, we face the temptation to think that God doesn’t care about us or our plight. Peter wrote: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). When Peter says, “all your anxiety,” what are some things that make you anxious in life? How have you seen evidence of the Lord’s care for you? In practical terms, how do we “cast” (or throw) or anxiety on Jesus? A Challenge: memorize I Peter 5:7 so that you can quote it when your heart is anxious.
- Why would wisdom perhaps be a higher priority prayer request than deliverance from the trial? Why do you suppose that James stresses God’s generosity when it comes to granting wisdom? Why is it important that James points out that God gives wisdom without finding fault? How does this help you in framing your requests? Why is it essential that we ask in faith?
- How have you experienced God granting you wisdom through each of these delivery systems: His word? His people? His Holy Spirit? Who are some people in your life who have given you good spiritual advice? Why is seeking advice a good spiritual practice (Proverbs 13:10). How do you find wisdom in the will of God?