Theme: Brethren, don’t err in your handling of trials in your Christian life.
Introduction: The Greek word for temptation has a broad range of meaning, ranging from testings and trials in your life to a solicitation to do evil which has the English connotation of temptation.
I. Guard against erring in your attitude when trials come (vs.2-4).
“Count it all joy” Consider it so — “in everything give thanks”
“When” not – “if” –trials and testings in life will come
“Ye fall” Good Samaritan fell among thieves (Luke 10:30)
A. Consider it Joy – Because trials bring patience or endurance
B. Consider it Joy – Because endurance brings growth:
“Let”– command — “that ye may” It is a process of God’s work in us that requires the submission of our own will.
1. “Perfect”- Maturity
2. “Entire” – wholeness or completeness
3. “Wanting nothing” – A lacking of nothing that God wants for you.
II. Guard against erring in your prayers when trials come (vs5-8).
A. Don’t forget to pray when you need wisdom in your trial (5).
B. A Prayer of faith will be answered liberally (“wholehearted, without reservation and thus abundant). Matt 21:22, Mk 11:24
“Faith is of the very essence of the spiritual life” Hiebert cf. Hebrews 11:6
C. A Prayer mixed with doubt should not be expected to be answered.
Mark 9:24-27 “Lord I believe. Help thou mine unbelief”
III. Guard against erring in your perspective when trials come (vs.9-12).
A. Whatever your position in life you should expect that trials will come
1. The poor when they are exalted.
2. The rich when they are made low.
Proverbs: 30:8-9 “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
B. Whatever your trial you should endure with a focus on God’s reward.
1. God esteems you to be happy when you bear up courageously under trials.
2. God will give you the “Crown of life” when you have been approved.
“Tried” = approved – “used of the testing of coins and metals to establish their genuineness.”
“Crown of life”- Not to be confused with eternal life. This is one of 5 crowns that a Christian can receive for faithfully serving Christ here on earth. Other Crowns: Incorruptible crown – I Cor.9:25-27; Crown of Righteousness – 2 Tim 4:8; Crown of Rejoicing -I Thess 2:19-20: Crown of glory 1 Peter 5:1-4.
IV. Guard against erring in your blame for sin when trials come (vs.13-16).
Example: Genesis 3:12-13 – Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent
A. Don’t blame God, for God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone to do evil.
B. Blame yourself, for man is tempted to do evil by his own lusts:
1. A solicitation to evil comes to him: Bait
2. His own desire –LUST- responds: That sure looks good
3. Desire conceives sin in the heart: I’ll try or take that
4. Birth of sin in the life: Sin committed
5. Leads to death: Separation from God
In every trial and testing of our faith throughout this life on earth, God will provide a way of escape.
“ There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
Conclusion: Verse 16 – “Do not error, my beloved brethren”