2.08.2019

CHOOSING JOY in the midst of trials!

This past Sunday the Lord used our pastor to encourage His sheep with the fabulous biblical truth that the believer can choose and possess true, tangible and contended JOY in the midst of trials. 
I pray it will encourage anyone who needs to be reminded that our God is good - our God is faithful - our God is ABLE - and our God is an ever-present help in times of trouble.♥

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad:
Greetings.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
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. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
James 1:1-12
The question is not, "WILL you have trials?" for tears, trials, and tests are a part of life.
The question is, "How will you RESPOND to trials?"
Temptations can destroy our faith. Trials can develop our faith.
The PEOPLE
- James is writing to persecuted believers who have been scattered abroad
- He writes to encourage them in their trials because their trials are SURE
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, James 1:2
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. I Peter 4:16
- Their trials are SUDDEN
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, James 1:2
Falling is not planned - it just happens
- Their trials are SELECT - a certain test at a certain time
The PERSPECTIVE
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials ... James 1:2
- We need to choose joy when we are entering and in the trials - not just afterward when all of the dust has settled
- Choosing joy in the sorrows and setbacks of life is not natural - but it is what God requires
- Instead of seeing trials as intruders, we need to see them as guests
guests that can educate us and guests that can be enjoyed
- Trials are ASSETS, not liabilities
- Theology must shape emotions and responses ---> not the other way around!
- Joy does not equal a shallow or temporary happiness, but a settled contentment and attitude of thankfulness
- Values determine your evaluation
- Serious sorrows create the sweetest saints - because - they counted their trials and sorrows as JOYFUL GUESTS and matured in their faith because of their biblical perspective
- If you value character, value your trials
The PURPOSE
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2, 3
- You may not be thankful FOR your trials, but you can be thankful IN your trials
- Faith is made stronger through fire
- "Let patience have its perfect work." Invite the trials in! Embrace them! Let everything unfold to reveal God's purpose and plan.
- WAIT ON THE LORD! 
It is easy to bail out too early in a crisis. The Christian must remain FIRM. Steadfast. 
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10
The PRAYER
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. James 1:5
- Wisdom is not natural, it is Divine
- Ask for wisdom not to waste your sorrow. Ask that it will be used to strengthen your character.
The PROSPECT
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12
- One day the trials will end. No more sorrow, disappointments, or pain. Just JOY - forevermore!

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