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Turning Trials into Triumphs                               James 1:2-12Welcome to Empowered Bible Study Ministries. Today ...
1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which isto try you, as though some strange thing...
greater purpose beyond ourselves that we are going to embrace.Now when we talk about falling into various trials in verse ...
Now I know sometimes it feels as though we can‟t handle any more, and we askGod as Paul did with the thorn in his flesh to...
You know it is when you crush the pedals of a Rose that you smell the strongestfragrance.What may look hopeless or impossi...
Martin Luther said “Were it not for tribulation I should not understand theScriptures”.The word of God is our instruction ...
waste this opportunity to spiritually grow in my Christian walk. Show me whatyou want me to do, teach me what you want me ...
God does not leave us hanging, he will equip us for the service that He wants usto do. In order to equip us, we will have ...
Ladies, as you endure the trials of life, let it be a process of growth. We mustlearn from them so that we can apply them ...
It is when we go through the trials of life that we grow isn‟t it. When things aregoing good, we seem to stand still in ou...
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Turning Trials into Triumphs

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http://empoweredbiblestudy.blogspot.com/ Trials come in various forms from small ones to gut wrenching life changing trials. In this webinar see how our attitude contributes to our trials being turned into triumphs. How we can have joy and peace as we grow in our Spiritual walk.

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Turning Trials into Triumphs

  1. 1. Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:FacebookTwitterGodTubeYouTube
  2. 2. Turning Trials into Triumphs James 1:2-12Welcome to Empowered Bible Study Ministries. Today we are looking at James1:2-12 as we learn how to turn Trials into Triumphs.So many times people think that when they accept Jesus Christ into their heartand become a Christian, all their troubles and trials will disappear only to findout that that is not true and they find themselves unprepared and discouraged.All too often we approach trials as being difficult prompting groaning andcomplaints because we don‟t understand the purpose for them.My Friends, as we continue in our study today, we will see how our response andour heart attitude contributes to our Christian Maturity. We will see how Goduses trials to mold and shape us into what He wants us to be, to bring honor andglory to His name.After a brief introduction in verse one, James immediately jumps right in andgives us essential elements to have victory over our trials.Each of these essential elements asks us to evaluate our own reactions, valuesand perceptions.There are four particular elements that Warren Wiersbe points out that Jamesgives us.Lets look at them: 1. A Joyful Attitude - James 1:2 2. An Understanding Mind - James 1:3 3. A Surrendered Will - James 1:4, 9-11 4 .A Heart that wants to Believe - James 1:5-8You know, trials come in many forms, they are a part of life and we need to beprepared now for when they do come.James 1:2 says „My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”NKJV. It doesn‟t say if but when.
  3. 3. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which isto try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (NKJV)You see, scripture is telling us that we will go through trials; the question is myfriend, „how will we go through them—as victims or victors.James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. But let patience have itsperfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” NKJVThese are such comforting words. Remember, as we saw last week, James waswriting to Persecuted Christian Jews. They were not living the easy life. Saul ofTarsus was going house to house pulling Christians from their homes andthrowing them in prison. They were having several problems in their personallives and in their church fellowship.James compassionately identifies with them and says ‟my brethren‟. Meaningmy brothers and sisters in Christ, he knows what they are going through; he toois going through various trials and persecution.Then he exhorts them, knowing that at this time they are going through thesetrials, he says count it all joy.This is a remarkable command—we are to choose to be joyful in situationswhere joy would naturally be our last response.Does this mean that we are to laugh through our trials? Absolutely not!Some trials can be like a little pebble in our shoe that pricks us and irritates useach time we walk, others can be gut wrenching, life changing experiences.James is encouraging us to have pure joy in the very face of trials. He is notasking us to pretend to be happy.Ladies, rejoicing goes beyond happiness it is an inner peace that only God cangive us.Happiness centers on earthly circumstances and how well things are goinghere.Joy centers on God and his presence in our experience. It is possessing a spiritof joy, an attitude of joy and perseverance as we face the trials in our life.This joyful attitude comes from knowing as we see in James 1:3 that God isallowing this trial in our life for a reason and purpose. That you can see the trialthrough His eyes and know that He will see you through it and that there is a
  4. 4. greater purpose beyond ourselves that we are going to embrace.Now when we talk about falling into various trials in verse two the Greek wordfor fall is to fall in with, among or surrounded. The Greek scholar A.T. Robertsonsays, “it is the picture of being surrounded by trials. (Word Pictures in the NewTestament Vol6. p.11)Various trials means variegated trials, trials of many colors. Trials come in allshapes and forms. From financial problems, health issues, moral issues,accidents to the loss of loved ones and more. They can be small trials to hugelife changing trials.Peter used the same word in 1 Peter1:6,8 .Now, you can respond to trials in many ways, but how you respond reflects onyour Christian walk. Where are you in your Christian walk? How mature areyou?When trials come, do you cry out and say „Why God, why me!‟ and simply give upand turn your back on God? Or do you trust that God is in control of every aspectof your life and seek wisdom and guidance through the trial.Do you groan and complain or do you say „Lord, I know you have a plan and apurpose for my life, teach me what you want me to learn through this , give meyour eyes that I may see what you want me to see through this trial.‟There are going to be times in our trials where we can see what God is doingand the purpose for our adversity; but there are also going to be times that wedon‟t understand why God has allowed that trial into our lives. We don‟tunderstand why we are going through such pain or having to watch a loved onego through pain.It is in these times that we need to respond with humble faith, trusting God towork in our lives according to His plan and purpose.Oh my friend, God wants what is best for you!John Walvoord said:"A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out.”You see, a trial is a test that is given to us, not to make us pass out, but to help usgrow spiritually that we may mature in our Christian walk.1 Corinthians 10:13 says that God will not allow us to go through any more thanwhat we can handle.
  5. 5. Now I know sometimes it feels as though we can‟t handle any more, and we askGod as Paul did with the thorn in his flesh to please take this from me. But Godknows how much we can handle and will give us the grace we need to see usthrough. He may not want to remove that thorn as with Paul and that is ok. Weneed to Trust that God is working everything out for our good.John Walvoord goes on to say:“James gave sound advice on how to score high on every test. One who bringsthe right attitude to the trial, who understands the advantage of the trial, andwho knows where to obtain assistance in the trial will certainly end up on God‟shonor roll.”—Bible Knowledge CommentaryThe path of life is not always an easy path to walk, but one thing we do know as itsays in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”NKJVIt is not through our own strength but through Christ who strengthens us. Andthat is what this is about. Learning to Trust God to sustain us and help us in ourChristian Walk - total surrender of our life to Him - as a bondservant to hismaster.You know, believing God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists.It is easy to believe that God does exist but knowing that God is in full control ofyour life, that nothing is going to happen to you today that God has not allowedand that there is a reason and a purpose for everything, and through this you willhave victory over your trials.As we depend on Christ to help us through the trials in our lives, this ladies iswhere we will grow in our Christian walk. As it says in James 1:3-4 “knowingthat the testing of our faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfectwork, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” NKJVPatience is not a passive acceptance of circumstances. It is a courageousperseverance in the face of suffering and difficulty.If we are able to look beyond the present trial and see the product God intendsto produce through our suffering, we will experience joy.When our attitude is right, where we are seeking what God wants to show us andnot dwelling on the circumstances themselves, then this is where we will growspiritually, we will mature in our Christian walk.We may not be able to understand the specific reasons for God‟s allowingcertain experiences to crush us or wear us down, but we can be confident thathis plan is for our good.
  6. 6. You know it is when you crush the pedals of a Rose that you smell the strongestfragrance.What may look hopeless or impossible to us never looks that way to God!It is not the trial itself that is to be the ground of our joy; rather, it is theexpectation of the results, the development of our character that should causeus to rejoice in adversity.So we are to have a „Joyful Attitude‟; an „Understanding Mind‟; and a„Surrendered Will‟.Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,Because he trusts in You.” (NKJV)We need to keep our eyes on Christ and the greater goal. Just like Peter, whilehis focus was on Christ he was able to walk on water, but the minute he allowedthe distractions around him to take his eyes off Christ, he began to sink. Ourfocus needs to be on the greater picture knowing that God is in full control ofevery aspect of our Lives.If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us.If we value material things more than spiritual, then we will not find pure joy inthe midst of trials.If we live only for the „now‟ and not for the future, then we will miss out on thetrue blessings that comes our way as we see the big picture unfold with God‟splan and purpose for our lives.Job 23:10-12 “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shallcome forth as gold. 11foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and notturned aside. 12have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I havetreasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” (NKJV)Listen to that: I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessaryfood.” My friend, do we treasure God‟s words (which is our spiritual food weglean from scripture)—our spiritual food more than physical food?We need to be walking close to the Lord, being in His word daily, communicatingwith Him daily, pursuing a deep personal relationship with Him so that whenthese trials hit we can have a confidence to know that God is working everythingout according to His plan and purpose for our lives.It is not a question of if trials come but when they come we need to be groundedwith the Lord.
  7. 7. Martin Luther said “Were it not for tribulation I should not understand theScriptures”.The word of God is our instruction book for life and as we go through the trialsand adversities of life this is when it transforms that „Head knowledge‟ into„Heart knowledge‟.As we see in Job 42:5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now myeye sees You.” (NKJV)Job went from Head knowledge to Heart knowledge—now he knew Godexperientially. He didn‟t just hear of him he now knew him experientially. When itsays „my eye sees you‟ it is referring to the heart.When God called Abraham to live by faith, He tested him in order to increase hisfaith.Oh my friend, we need to switch our thinking about trials. Instead of thinking ofa trial as negative, think of it as a positive. Think about the outcome and whatGod is going to do in your life as a result of this trial.Maybe your trial is to set you straight again on your Christian walk—may be youhave strayed away,Maybe there is something you are doing that God doesn‟t want you to be doing—He will get a hold of you to set you straightMaybe it is simply to help you mature in your Christian walk.No matter what the trial is for, there is a reason and purpose! Ask God to giveyou wisdom in your understanding of the trial so that you may grow spiritually.James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to allliberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6let him ask in faith,with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossedby the wind. 7let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from theLord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (NKJV)Warren Wiersbe said “Knowledge is the ability to take things apart, whilewisdom is the ability to put them together.God wants us to ask Him for wisdom. In fact, it is in the Greek Imperative mode,meaning it is a command it is not a suggestion.The wisdom we are talking about is to seek God‟s guidance as we go throughthe various trials. When we seek God‟s guidance we are saying „I don‟t want to
  8. 8. waste this opportunity to spiritually grow in my Christian walk. Show me whatyou want me to do, teach me what you want me to learn. Seeking God in themidst of your trial.‟Verse six tells us that not only are we to Ask but that we are to ask in Faith. Doesit do any good to ask for God‟s guidance if we don‟t believe He will answer theprayer. No.Verse eight says that we are double minded when we ask for wisdom but havedoubt in the answer. In fact, James compares the doubting believer to thewaves of the sea, up one minute and down the next.It is easy to say, „I believe God is going to work this out,‟ but then we findourselves keeping one hand in there as if to say „well if I don‟t see results soon, Iwill do this or that to solve the problem‟. Are we really letting God in the driver‟sseat or are we trying to sit on half the seat grabbing the steering wheel?We don‟t know what the day may hold; therefore, we need to ask for God‟swisdom each morning to face the various issues of life.The more we seek God in every aspect of our lives the more we will grow inmaturity.Verses 9-11 James tells us that it doesn‟t matter whether a person is poor orrich, healthy or unhealthy, he is to rejoice in the Lord.James 1:9-11 “Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich is hishumiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no soonerhas 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 hispursuits.” NKJVApparently, money and social status were real problems among the people inJames times as we still see this problem of „status‟ today.Trials have a way of leveling us. Whether you are rich or poor, when you are in atrial you still submit to God‟s will. You still ask for God‟s wisdom to see youthrough the trial.God‟s goal for our lives is Christian Maturity. He does not want us to stay asbabes in Christ. He wants us to grow in our faith, grow in our walk, grow intowho we are in Him.We need to surrender our lives to God knowing that He has a plan and purposefor us. That He will complete the work that He has started in you.
  9. 9. God does not leave us hanging, he will equip us for the service that He wants usto do. In order to equip us, we will have to bear some trials which will help usmature in our Christian walk.Look at Joseph‟s life. It was not an easy road, but through all the trials andadversity that he went through, God was preparing him for a time He wanted touse him in. Joseph had to suffer and wait on the Lord to see the ultimatefulfilling of God‟s plan in his life.God builds character before He calls to service. He equips us for what ourpurpose is. If we try to go through trials without a surrendered will, we will endup more like immature children than mature adults.Sometimes God has to wean His children away from their childish toys andimmature attitudes.David said in Psalms 131:2 “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like aweaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” NKJVJames ends this section in verse 12 with a Beatitude:James 1:12 ”Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has beenapproved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to thosewho love Him.” NKJVWhen you love God and are truly seeking a deep personal relationship with Him,when you are seeking daily His wisdom to sustain you in your day to day living,you will not fall apart when trials come because you are secure in God‟s love.You are not double-minded trying to love God and the world.James tells us that as you endure temptations that you will receive the crown oflife. Ladies, this is an eternal reward.James teaches us that God‟s long-term goal for us is maturity andcompleteness, but his eternal goal for us is the Crown of Life, a rich expressionof hope.As we patiently endure by trusting God here on earth in our day to day lives, wewill bring honor and glory to God as we mature in our Christian walk.As we look forward to that wonderful reward, the Crown of Life, and to the onewho will present it to us, Jesus Christ, it can be a source of strength andencouragement in times of trials.
  10. 10. Ladies, as you endure the trials of life, let it be a process of growth. We mustlearn from them so that we can apply them to our lives.God told the Israelites to remember the 40 years in the desert in Deuteronomy8:2-3 “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way theseforty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was inyour heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3He humbledyou, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nordid your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live bybread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of theLORD” (NKJV)By bringing the adversity in the form of hunger in their lives during those 40years and supplying food, they learned that God supplies their needs.In order to profit from this lesson, they had to remember it.We too, if we are to profit from the lessons God teaches us, we must rememberthem. We must allow them to sink deeply into our hearts so that each timeanother trial comes we will remember how God widdled away the imperfectionsof our life to make us more like Him.The Lord can do great things in our lives when we learn to wait on Him. It iswhen we jump ahead and try to do things on our own that we get into trouble. Abraham ran ahead of the Lord - when they saw that Sarah was barren and yet God had promised a blessing through the seed of Abraham, Abraham decided to run ahead and solve the problem on his own by having a child with Hagar, Sarah‟s handmaid. This ended up being a huge mistake that has had bad ramifications throughout history.  God had His own timing for the seed of Abraham to be born—which was fulfilled Moses ran ahead of the Lord, murdered a man and spent 40 years with the sheep to learn patience  Exodus 2:11-12 “Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (NKJV)Sometimes we get impatient and we think we need to help God complete thework in us, but in reality, He knows what is best and will complete the work in usat the proper timing.
  11. 11. It is when we go through the trials of life that we grow isn‟t it. When things aregoing good, we seem to stand still in our Christian walk. It is through theadversities in life that our faith is stretched. It is through the adversities of lifethat bring us to our knees where we say „ok Lord, I surrender‟.If we can learn in the beginning of the trial to surrender it will make the trial morebearable because we know, that we know, that we know, that it is for our good!In closing I‟d like to read you a quote that Lehman Strauss quoted from anotherPastor:“Life on earth would not be worth much if every source of irritation wereremoved. Yet most of us rebel against the things that irritate us, and count asheavy loss what ought to be rich gain. We are told that the oyster is wiser; thatwhen an irritating object, like a bit of sand, gets under the „mantel‟ of his shell,he simply covers it with the most precious part of his being and makes of it apearl. The irritation that it was causing is stopped by encrusting it with thepearly formation. A true pearl is therefore simply a VICTORY over irritation.Every irritation that gets into our lives today is an opportunity for pearl culture.The more irritations the devil flings at us, the more pearls we may have. Weneed only to welcome them and cover them completely with love, that mostprecious part of us, and the irritation will be smothered out as the pearl comesinto being. What a store of pearls we may have, if we will!”What irritants are you facing today? Count it all joy knowing God has a plan andpurpose for your life. Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.Knowing that each one of those irritants creates a beautiful pearl.I have enjoyed studying God‟s word with you and look forward to being with youagain as we continue our study on the Book of James.Until then,God blessTo view this study and archives on the book of James go to:http://thestudyofthebookofjames.blogspot.com/For other Bible studies and inspirational articles go to:Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:Facebook; Twitter; GodTube; YouTube

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