MIDWEEK BIBLE STUDY Pastor Alex M Perednia09/15/10 #2
JAMES: ACTIVE FAITH How Do I Face Trials Without Being Crushed
James 1:3-5, 12-18; 5:7-12
When you hear the word
, what comes to mind? Does that wordcreate a positive or negative image in your mind? In what ways cantesting be a negative/positive experience? Why does God test our faith?
Before we consider how to face trials
without being crushed
, we needto be clear about the “many kinds” of trials (1:2) we will face asChristians. What are the “trials of
” that James is referringto? Here is the definition of a
y James: …Something that leadsto “the
_____________ of your faith…” (1:2)
An examination of the context will show us that the kinds of trials thatJames has in mind come from two main sources.
Trials that come
_________ (James 1:2-4).What was the real life test that Christians were facing in 5:1-8?
) that come
________ (James1:13-15). This is clearly a different kind of “test” from the firstecause the source of the testing comes from within. This kind of test is more properly called a “temptation” (
With the help of James 1:12-15, how would you respond to some of these myths of temptation: “God is tempting me.” Or, “The Devilmade me do it.” Or, “When I am a strong Christian, temptation won’te a problem anymore.”
What is the “cycle of temptation” according to 1:14-15? What are theoutcomes if the cycle of temptation continues?
Consider the following kinds of trials. What kind of test are these…from
… or a combination? How would/do eachof these test our faith? How have you responded to them?
…a diagnosis of a serious illness
…whether to tell a life to protect yourself
…a financial hardship, like a job loss
…whether to watch a racy video online
… losing a promotion because of your
hen slandered by a friend
…whether to break that diet and eat an extra helping of pie
…extreme disappointment about circumstances in our life
Let’s come back to the question, “Why does God test our faith?”
What are the reasons given in James 1:2-4? What does God wantto
in us as a result of our testing? Let’stake a moment to reflect upon some key phrases to understand thekeys to facing trials without being crushed“Consider it pure joy…” (a joyful
_____________)“…Whenever you face trials…”“…knowing that…” (an understanding
_________)“…The testing of your faith develops perseverance…”“…Perseverance must finish its work…” (a
______ will)“…so that you may e mature and complete…”“…so that you (are)… not lacking anything…”
According to James 5:7-11, what are we commanded to do in theface of trials involving unfair (and even unjust) circumstances?Who is the great Biblical example that James cites for enduring suffering patiently?What is the “eschatological” reason (a reason pertaining to“last things”) that we can endure under unjust suffering?
According to James 1:12, what is God’s promise to those who enduretrials faithfully? How can knowing this help us when facing trials?
In his commentary on James (1998 Moody Press), Bible teacher JohnMcArthur helps further answer the question, “Why does God test our faith?”He writes: “To test the genuineness of a diamond, jewelers often place it in clear water, which causes a real diamond to sparkle withspecial brilliance. An imitation stone, on the other hand, will have almostno sparkle at all. When the two are placed side by side, even an untrainedeye can easily tell the difference.” He explains that it is important thatGod test us to reveal the real quality of our faith: “Many people havegreat confidence in their faith until it is severely tested by hardships or disappointments. How a person handles trouble will reveal whether hisfaith is living or dead, genuine or imitation, saving or non-saving.”How are you doing in the trials you are facing? Is the trial crushing your faith… revealing it wasn’t strong or genuine in the first place? Or, is thetrial developing a perseverance and maturity that you did not know youhad? Will you ask God to help “the testing of your faith to produce perseverance…(and the) maturity” of your faith?