Dealing with Trials
JAMES the JUST
Who was James and what is the theme of this NT letter?
Finding GOOD in the TRIALS of Life
Sometime in your life, you will encounter a circumstance that will cause you to feel a sense of hopelessness, despair, panic, or even depression. That is not what God wants for you. God wants you to:
- Discover joy during the trial.
We can experience joy during any trial when we focus on the good in the midst of the trouble around us.
- GOOD #1: We develop perseverance which leads to maturity.
- GOOD #2: We can receive wisdom from our generous God.
- GOOD #3: We reassess our priorities.
- GOOD #4: We hold onto the promise of eternal life.
1. What are some good results of trials that have occurred in your life?
2. Can you name some instances in your life where God’s answer to your prayer for wisdom came much later than desired?
3. What are the similarities in Romans 5:3-5 and James 1 concerning “perseverance” and what does Romans 5 add to the idea of maturing in our faith in the midst of sufferings?
4. When we pray for wisdom in how to deal with the storms of life, we should not doubt. How does Mark 11:24 relate to James 1:6-8? Why is doubtfulness in praying indicative of instability in other realms of life?
5. What is the crown of life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)? The context in Revelation seems to be persecution, where Christians are imprisoned and even killed for their faith. Since dying for your faith doesn’t earn you salvation, what does the crown of life symbolize?
Applying the Word to Life
6. Are you in the midst of a trial right now? Are you standing firm in endurance? You might not feel like you are maturing right now, but “the you” five years from now will thank you for not caving in to the pressures of your present trial. What practical step can you take this week to affirm that you will outlast the storm you are in with God’s strength?
7. When is the last time you have reassessed your priorities in life? Challenge yourself and your group to write out the top priorities in your life and why each are important to you.