James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault.”
Trials Often Bring:
REAL FAITH – FAITH IN GOD
- Faith is only as useful as the ________________ of your faith.
James 1:6-8 – “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
- James is contrasting ______________ reliance and __________ reliance.
Do I trust God fully that is both able and willing to give me wisdom, or whatever it is I need?
- When I face trials, I can fully _____________ that God will give me what I ___________.
This is not a promise for a 50% or 75% success or effective rate!
Hebrews 4:14 – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to helps us in our time of need.”
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- Practice: Trials often put us is in a position where we desperately need wisdom from God. They often bring the unsettling feelings of confusion, guilt, fear or anger. Instead of yielding to these emotions, James in-structs us to find joy in what God can do through our trials and to ask for wisdom. As an exercise, consider a current trial you’ve been under or are under and in the space below, write out a prayer asking for God’s wisdom. Be specific with what you are asking:
- Read the following Passages about seeking God’s counsel or wisdom. What common themes and teachings do you find in each of these?
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- Psalm 25:4-5 – “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
- Psalm 16:7-8 – “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
- There is a difference in having “faith in faith,” and “faith in God.” To tell someone to “have faith that everything will work out,” is different than encouraging someone to have faith in God. How would you describe the difference to someone? What do you think of the statement that our faith is only as useful as the trustworthiness of the object of our faith?
- Rephrase James 1:6-8 in your words. What is it to be “double-minded?” In what ways have you been double minded when it comes to trusting God? What is the cure to double-mindedness?
- In Matthew 14:28-33, Peter walked on waters for a few moments before he started to sink. He gave way to fear and fear undermined his faith. What fear to we face in trials? What are the best ways to combat fear? What are ways to keep our eyes on Jesus when fear takes hold in our heart?