17 October 2016


James 1:9-12

Character transformation is experiencing divine power through relationships; striving together towards a maturity in Christ….not in myself, my poverty or my riches. Trials have and will hit everyone, whether you’re rich or poor, healthy or sickly. Again as I’ve already said “no one is exempt from trials and tribulations.”

For the purpose…… 
It helps us to grow in His likeness
It helps us to trust in God’s wisdom
It helps us to rely upon His resources

Nothing is too hard to overcome whether it’s something small or big when our faith is strengthening through trials. But one of the hardest trials any human being can face is the trial of self-centeredness, or pride. It is our general inclination to see everything with ourselves as the center, filtering all of life through a “me lens.” James starts off talking about poverty and riches. Why? Many of James listeners were likely poor, but some were rich and trusting in their wealth. See as James continues……he is reminding the poor, you should boast in God; and in the absence of physical resources, you are driven by His grace….. to boast in your rich status through Jesus Christ as a child of God. On the other hand, if your rich be very careful. Trails will remind you that money can’t solve your problems and all the stuff you fill your life with can’t cover up you’re going to have nothing left. The question we need to ask ourselves this morning is! Will your life be built on those physical resources or on the spiritual resources only God can provide? Let me ask you this morning! Are you willing to be content and satisfied if you were at a fork in the road that required you to go without? That required you to choose between what is right and wrong?What is my purpose and what is my heart focused on? Is it for the glory of God to shine into my heart or is it for personal gain and pleasures of this life?

Think about this and compare it to your life now…..possible this morning! Do life pleasures and life luxuries bring us true joy and happiness? Does wealth make you feel closer to God or more independent? According to the Scriptures we can only be truly satisfied in Christ and Christ alone. Why Phil 4:19 says “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” As we continue to understand and unfold the fact that trials are a part of the Christian life we see James shifting gears to another issue that plagues even the most veteran Christian! Wealth and pride.

See the first thing we need to understand is that wealth isn’t the problem. It’s the attitude towards one’s wealth. Another wrong attitude is the person who says “I’ll just stay poor and then I’ll be ok!” But again that’s a wrong thinking because a poor person is just as guilty for wanting but unable to have….just as a rich person who hoards it all for themselves. Sin is sin and both are equally guilty if handled in a wrong manner. Meaning! Christ is sufficient in all aspects of my life! This world only offers temporal fulfillment which leads to broken hearts and frustration as so many of us has gone through at one point in time in life.
Ask yourself? Do I measure a person’s worth by who they are or what they have? Do I measure my own success by that standard?............ Because the world does! If that’s so in your life……... then I’m here to tell you that you’re missing the mark in finding your true worth and true joy! James said they wither and die and amount to nothing in comparison to grace and beauty that is found in the Gospel. James address this 2 types of individuals   the poor and the rich man!

Let’s look at the rich man first!  [Because it’s more of a negative rebuke] "...Because, as the flower of the grass he shall pass away" (v10). “Pass away” (means) shortly, and suddenly; either he himself by death, or his riches at death, or before, and therefore are not to be gloried in. The rich man needs to be reminded that earthly possessions are not the mark of true wealth. Why? (v11a) “…..its beauty perishes”
“beauty perishes” means the appearance of beauty won’t last forever…….they will eventually be destroyed, or die. I can buy flowers for my wife and they only last for a very short time. I can buy a new vehicle eventually it will need repairs. I can buy the latest and greatest gadget and in 6 months it’s like a purchased a 8 track player. These things can appear to be beautiful and very distracting at the time but they will wither and fade away. And what’s worse is in the end (v11b) “the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits” If our pursuits are not Christ centered and Christ motivated, then who is it centered around? “ME!” This meansThe life of the “rich man” comes to an end while he is busily engaged in making money. His riches are unable to prolong his life, for he departs and leaves his possessions behind. Striving to pursue the American dream instead of living a Gospel saturated life that brings true joy. See the rich man should glory in knowing that wealth is temporary and unimportant and that one’s hope is in the LORD. Paul reminded Timothy of this important truth…………..“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty [proud, arrogant], nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 1 Tim 6:17

NOW! WHAT DOES JAMES SAY TO THE POOR MAN TO DO? “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation” (v9) 
“Let the Lowly or humble” focuses not on economic poverty but on lowliness…either humble status in society or humble attitude. This means! The poor man can glory in the salvation that he or she attains from a Holy and Perfect God who gives freely to sinners like us. As it says in 1Peter 1:4 “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” This is should be enough for anyone to rejoice in! We are to glory in our exaltation or high position. Even the most poor and destitute Christian, can glory as a child of God in the countless blessings that position brings. Especially in a time! When the world determines a man’s worth by how they live and what they possess as worth.


John 6:35 "...Jesus said to them, "I Am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst"

John 4:1-14 “Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."


Luke 6:20 “And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”


Rev 7:16-17 “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

We need to understand when God takes something away from you. It has the purpose of making you more spiritually mature, Which is something that is more valuable than anything you have lost here on this earth we must invest our riches in the things above? Why? James gives the perfect answer in (v12) “he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” This is where our riches lay….the promise of our saving Lord who gives eternal life to those who have been called out of darkness into His glorious light whether you’re rich or poor. As R C Sproul said “Whatever economic state in which we find ourselves, the perspective of faith tells us that we must boast only in Jesus and the status that His kingdom grants us. Among His people, neither wealth nor poverty makes us better in His eyes. Rather, we must treasure Him alone and the new life He offers to us in our adoption as His children.” There is nothing wrong with wealth or things but remember if it taken away rejoices in it, because they are only temporal treasures. Remember! Your salvation, your relationship, and your communion with God is more precious and far greater than anything that riches can buy. It’s not about what you have, it’s all about Christ Jesus our Lord.
Genuine happiness and your true worth depend on the true riches of God's grace, not earthly wealth or the lack of it.
John MacArthur said “When you lose a daughter, son, wife, husband, or other loved one, wealth is no comfort. When you lose your health, are betrayed by a friend, or are wrongfully maligned, money cannot buy peace of mind or decrease the pain. Trials are the great equalizer, bringing all of God’s children to dependence on Him. Wealth does not bring God closer, nor does poverty keep Him further away.” As Peter said “And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” 1 Peter 5:4. Again! It’s not what you or have or don’t have that determines your worth or position in Christ. It’s Christ! And Christ alone. Maybe some of us today need to pray “Father, forgive me of the times when I’ve placed anything of this world above You and my love for You.” We forget that God is the Giver of all things and the Author of salvation. Whether I am rich or poor I will exult in everlasting worth found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love You and I will give you all praise and honor.

09 October 2016


James 1:5-8

I came across a story by a well know preacher who said he had a gifted Secretary who was going through some great trials…….She recently had a stroke, her husband had gone blind, and then he had to be taken to the hospital where [they] thought for sure he would die. This well-known pastor saw here in church one Sunday and said with assurance “I’m praying for you” Which seems normal coming from a shepherd of the church right? But what she said to the preacher stopped me to ponder what James is trying to tell us here in his letter. She said to the pastor “what are you asking God to do? Her question startled the pastor…so he said “I’m asking God to help you and strengthen you.” She responded with “but pray one more thing. Pray that I’ll have wisdom not to waste all of this!” This lady knew what James meant when He said “if those of you lack wisdom ask God” [paraphrasing] There are a lot of people out there who are very knowledgeable but lack wisdom. See as one writer put it! Knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together.”

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge as this dear lady said “Give me wisdom to get me through, so that I grow through my present trial of life.” Wisdom by definition is the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight. Biblical wisdom is strong faith wisdom, which is not based on feelings but on knowledge and understanding of the promises of God’s truth found in His written word. 

The bible declares that a high view of God is the beginning of wisdom.

“…….Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'" Job 28:28 

The bible declares that wisdom helps us to make good use of our time.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Ps 90:12
The bible declares that wisdom helps us to understand our complete dependence upon the Lord.

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?" 1 Kings 3:9

The bible declares that God’s wisdom is pure and above all things.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
Something important we need to understand here! “We learn to trust His wisdom” which indicates were not there yet when it comes to wisdom, we are lacking something. We need God’s wisdom as we walk through trials and temptations. (v5) “let him ask God”
This is what we are to do when we lack wisdom. See, in relation to the wisdom of God our wisdom grows through three different factors.


For example: We are limited because when we walk through trials……

We realize we don’t know all that is going on (Lack of knowledge) 
We don’t see our situation from every single angle. (Lack of perspective) 
We oftentimes lack skill in what to do during our present trial. (Lack experience)
See we need to embrace and humbly acknowledge that we serve a God who is sovereign over our trials and we don’t have all the answers. James now tells us the secret ingredient to doing that! Which in reality is only possible way we will ever find true joy in the midst of our all kinds of various trials?  (v5b). When we are in hardships and when the weight is too much to bare, James says you only have one option! Call upon the Lord.

See we sometimes forget that…….. 
He is the one that called us out of darkness.
He is the one who keeps us and does the saving.
He is the one who knows the beginning to end of your life.
He is the one who is writing the script of your life.
He is the only one who can help you…the greatest Counsellor.
Don’t get me wrong! Family is great and so are friends, but God surpasses each and every one of them. So child of God, cheer up! This is where it gets really good for you and me. James says “let him ask God who gives generously”. (v5b) “Wisdom” in this verse is referring to the kind of wisdom which you and I would need in our trials, to enable us, to bear them with a proper manner. Why? For there is nothing in which Christians more feel the need of heavenly wisdom than in regard to the manner in which they should bear trials. God is the only one that can deliver! And to receive wisdom from a holy God is a blessing and a privilege. James says God gives it “Generously” carries the idea of singleness of heart, openhandedly, doing something unconditionally without bargaining. This is a beautiful picture of the mercy that flows from our God! Just as He generously gave us salvation, He does the same thing when it comes to wisdom as you face today’s obstacles. When we come to Him with our trials He immediately and unwaveringly gives it to us generously. This is our God who says “I will impart my wisdom to you.” So draw near to Him.
Jesus said "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matt 7:7-11All we need to do is ask! Not only does He do this with unconditional love……. He does this without reproach! God does this without “Reproach” means “to scold, to severely reprimand or rebuke” This means…. God doesn’t reprimand us for past failures or remind us endlessly of the value of the gifts He gives us. John MacArthur said “the Lord will never cast even the mildest reproach on a child of His who comes seeking wisdom in time of trouble and testing. He will not remind us of how undeserving and unworthy we are, obvious as that might be. Nor will He chide us for not asking sooner, fully understanding that “spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”……Without hesitation, reluctance, or reservation. His divine wisdom will be given to us in generous abundance.” This is same abundance of grace as He said to the Israelites “I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Ps81:10

So we read God’s willingness to give us wisdom as we face each trial or temptation of life and all we need to do is ask Him! So simple, yet we fail to seek Him in the middle of our trials; that God allows in our lives to help us grow stronger in our walk by faith. This is why James now turns to waiting child that there is something that is required of us! “Ask in faith”

What is James saying to us if we lack faith God doesn’t listen? No! 
Is this trail I’m going through because I lack faith in God? No!

Trials are a part of life according to the opening verses (v2-v3). Trails help us to experience growth in godliness, like we could never experience any other way. God has never called us to an easy life, but a life of faith and godliness in the only one who can deliver us out of the pit of Hell and out of our trials/temptations. But God requires something to help us get through them “ask in faith without any doubting” (v6a) Key word “without doubting” In other words this request must be backed by genuine trust in God’s character, purpose and promises. See many doubts that God is able to help….so they rationalize their doubt in countless ways. They say “I’m too unworthy or underserving to get His help” Or  “God’s too busy to help me with my problem” See this is why James goes even further to say if you’re a person like that, then you’re a "double minded man” (v8) "double minded man" (means) having one's mind or soul divided between God and the world. It is applicable to a man who has no settled principles; who is controlled by passion; who is influenced by popular feeling; who is now inclined to one opinion or course of conduct, and now to another. This is someone called a hypocrite /Worldly minded fool. Who occasionally believes in God but fails to trust Him completely. When faced with trials this person seek the wisdom of this world instead of going to the Lord. They become bitter or resentful and seek no help at all or refuse to listen to biblical counsel. There whole life is like a roller coaster ride up and down, up and down. This person doesn't renounce God outright, but they act as if God doesn't exist at this moment in time. They says “God doesn't care, or isn't capable of delivering me from trouble.”
But that’s the exact opposite of the loving God we serve. His grace overflows with His love as He takes great interest in you and me and what seems big or small to us, He chooses to help us get through it generously and without guiltThat’s why James says this kind of person is “is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (v6b) Let me ask you! Have you ever gone into the water at the lake and lay on your back and let the water move you around and when you stop after a while you are amazed at how quickly you have moved away from shore. The same principle can be applied to the Christian life if where not looking vertical [looking onto Jesus]. James is telling [warning ] us that the person who doubts will be easily led astray, and easily led to believe that God isn’t interested in his or her lives. Just as it was so easy for Peter to doubt when he was sinking after the Lord upheld him on the water.

Let me tell you! If God wasn’t interested or investing His time with His creation……then we would still be lost and without a hope or prayer. The gospel is our proof and the only proof we need to get us through that we serve a holy God and most of all trust Him. He is a God who does cares about His children and He says “don’t doubt, but believe and seek My face for help.” This is so important to understand……..because this can happen to best of us! Yes even veteran Christians! It doesn’t take much to slip up…our slip ups are so bad it required someone to die in our place……..none of us in this room are exempt. That’s why James talks to the double minded man or woman at the end of his letter.“ Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8. This is why trials come into our lives to see who have Genuine Persevering Faith as they call upon God for wisdom to get through each trial, not the world.

Church family! Seek God with a believing heart and not with doubting one. Never shake your fist and question God “Why me?” The question you need to ask is “Why not me?” And when you can ask the question that way you will be able to endure whatever the Lord allows to enter your life. Why? Because it’s for your own good…for our maturing. (v4). There is no such thing as chance only opportunities to seek His face to embrace the everlasting arms of God.
Remember! He gives freely because the great desire of God’s heart is that we love Him and trust Him with all of ours. WILL YOU TRUST HIM?

03 October 2016


James 1:1-4

For the Christian the greatest calling in this life is to be called by God, through the beauty of salvation through Jesus Christ, founded in the gospel. But were also called by God to something else after conversion, which is equally wonderful and beautiful too...Holiness, love, serve, good works, give, do ministry, endure and most of all glorify God. We are going to take a journey this Fall understanding a letter that gives us a picture or a glimpse to what we are called to…….Practical Christian living. This is a letter that exemplifies what a Christian looks like and the Author James, begins with the most unusual opening statement that seem strange and downright weird and unorthodox…..With you will face hardships! But cheer up it’s for your own good. See! Every one of us in this room is, or will go through trials until King Jesus calls us home. Whether that be persecution, various pressures of life or plan ole sin that temps us every day. What purpose does it serve in my life? For your maturity and grow as you bear fruit of Christ righteousness, even when we don’t understand why this is happening to us! Take the test with me this morning. When you fall into trials, what do you do?

Do you lose your cool and explode like a volcano?
Do you take it out on others? (Family, friends, Co-workers)
Do you break things, use foul language?
Do you get angry with God?
Do you throw in the towel, give up?

Or do you
Praise God in it?
Persevere through it?

I can tell you I fail this test most days….If I say “some” my wife will say I’m making myself look like a hypocrite. I remember back to a vacation we took as a family…..Trails and tribulations can be 10 km from home or 2500 km…there is no hiding from trials of life. But! The amazing thing is that it’s for our good and for His glory to shine in and through our lives. Again we may not understand why……..but as one writer put it. “The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried.” For example: The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. “What’s the trouble, Mr. Brooks?” he asked. “The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!” Haven’t we felt the same way many times' Trials are a part of life.....according to the scriptures there is no escaping the misery and agony of trials and tribulations. J C Ryle knew this best when he said “Are you indeed Christ’s sheep? Then be sure you will have many a trial. Where would be the value of a Savior, if there were not enemies to be saved from? Yes! You will have many a trial! Satan has great wrath against all who have escaped his snares, and he will bring every weapon to bear against your peace; he will start many a doubt within your mind, he will stir up many a vile and blasphemous imagination within the chambers of your heart, many a horrid thought you once would have believed impossible—but still remember those words, “never perish.” Yes! You will have many a trial!”

So we come to a small letter that is filled with the riches and beauties that flow from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A small letter to challenge, encourage and convict if necessary the Christian to walk in such a way that makes Jesus look precious and glorified. It’s known as one of those tough and uncomfortable books to study as a Christian, because it causes you examine your life in light of God’s word.
A quick background……. The writer James is the half-brother to the Lord Jesus Christ, and writer of this letter (Acts 15 & 21 indicate he was the leader  of the church in Jerusalem. James, letter has been compared with the wisdom of the Old Testament. Particularly Proverbs, because of its direct relation to wise living. The recipients of this book were mostly Jewish Christians [but also Gentile Christians as well] who had been dispersed, or scattered spreading the seeds of the Gospel to other lost Jews and Gentiles. (v1) “scattered or dispersed” Possibly as a result of Stephen's martyrdom…..persecution was running ramped in the early church! Luke wrote “And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Acts 8:1. James main theme or purpose for writing this epistle was to challenge his readers to EXAMINE their FAITH, to see if it was GENUINE SAVING FAITH.

See over the coming months we are going to see a Christian’s orthodoxy put into orthopraxyWhich means? What a Christian believes put into action……which ultimately displays the fruit of your love for Christ and His gospel. This letter is written to Christians whose faith is clearly being put to the test [same can be said for us at times] 

James epistle has many practical lessons for us to learn in our Christian Walk

Rejoicing in trials
Loving God under trials
Qualities needed in times of trials
Proclaimers of the Word
Beware of personal favoritism
The importance of your faith in action
The untamed tongue
The importance of wisdom
Prideful heart
Keeping brothers and sisters in Christ accountable
Patience and perseverance
Meeting others needs
Restoration of fallen brothers and sisters

James identifying himself as the author and his love for the people of the church with this greeting of compassion for the children of God (v1). Then he moves on to this statement that would make many us scratch our heads! (v2). You are going to face many trails in this life but be of good cheer it’s for your own good in Christ. What do trails produce? Answer: The fruit of patience to endure despite any and all situations. But look what he tells us to do or how we are to respond! What does he say? “count or consider it all joy..” (v2) “Joy” means: pure joy, unmixed joy, complete and total joy, or sheer joy. Let’s stop there for a moment! Our natural response is not to rejoice in times of trials. It's usually the opposite. Can you truly say that when you’re faced with the obstacles of this life God has for you? Can you say that about your life, at this moment, this very hour, this minute or second? Can you say with joy “no matter what happens I will always trust in you Lord”Isaiah could and he reminds his readers of this promise. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:28-31

When you know the promises and provision that God sets before you….you are able [or better yet will] endure with JOY! One writer said “the horrors of life can leave a believer confused, uncertain, uncomprehending, and floundering. Joy, which is the fruit of knowing God, and wisdom, which is the ability to handle life, seems remote and unattainable. James reminds the audience that trials are part of the package of faith and yield good fruit at the end of the day.” John MacArthur said “the more we rejoice in our testing, the more we realize that they are not liabilities but privileges….” See! When we endure with joy………. look what blossoms in your Christian walk or Christian life! (v3-v4). James uses two interesting words that follow after his statement of joy! “Patience” means persevering endurance and continuance. “Perfect work” does not refer to sinless perfection, but to spiritual maturity…a maturing purpose behind the testing. You put these two words together! A Christian who is growing [baring fruit] will be equipped or not lacking [endure] when they are faced with obstacles, struggles or trials of this life.” God is the one who does the equipping….He is the one who is perfecting you to bare fruits of righteousness. Sometimes we fail at this truth of God. Again, I’m reminded of a family vacation we took that year from Moosehorn…….. The first vehicle breakdown I handled rather well…the second no so much! My patience reached its peak and at that moment and I lost it (literally) and I lost the victory in my trial and God wasn’t glorified by my actions and I was so ashamed of my behaviour not only to my family but to the one [GOD] that loves me even when my faith seems weak or hidden by my loss of joy as I faced this trial. The question I needed to ask myself was! Is God getting the glory in our situation? Is He not able to see or help us through this?

Let me ask you! Are you giving God the glory in your trials? Or are you telling everyone on FACEBOOK how discussed you are with God because He allowed this happen? Think before you ask those questions! Because there times when were all guilty of this. HERE ARE 8 SIMPLE TRUTHS “Count it all joy” WHY GOD ALLOWS TRIALS IN OUR LIFE!


2 Cor 12:7 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (uplifted, or elevated up).”


John 6:4-6 “Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"  He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what he would do.”


“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” Rom 5:3-4


Luke 14:26 says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.


Heb 12:2 “looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”


2 Cor 12:10 says “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


Luke 22:31-32 says "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."


1 Peter 1:6-7  “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Always remember as we go through this letter over the next few months. Joy transcends suffering……and this is what James is trying to convey to us this morning! Trials are a part of life and James is said “rejoice none the less!” There is another time when a wise man once said “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt 5:11-12. Testing’s are to be occasions for joy because they are opportunities to endure and prove faith keeping……This produces healthy fruit in the life of the believer as its being perfected by the love found in the gospel. Testing’s of your faith drives the believer to a deeper communion with the Lord.  Which leads to a greater dependence and joy in our Lord…….We always need to remember! Our Lord is always with you through each and every trial. We get this reminder in 1 Cor 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” We can’t control the circumstance, but we can control the way we think or act about the present trial.

Fear not . . . God is with you;
Fear not . . . God is your God;
Fear not . . . God will strengthen you;
Fear not . . . God will help you;
Fear not . . . God will uphold you.

What is my calling? To endure for His glory and for my (our) joy, grounded in the Gospel that saves.