What are my trials revealing about my faith?
We LOOKED at and HEARD God speak to us in James 1:2-4 about:
that will definitely come;
to purify us and teach us obedience.
We will stay in James 1:2-4 LOOKING at trials.
We will zoom in on the ‘testing of our faith’.
Open GODcha to the Book of James.
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Or, you can use your hardbound Bibles and follow along.
You can print off this post and put in a Notebook!
Why Did James Write This Letter?
Consider James’ purpose as we focus on ‘trials that test our faith’.
We know precious ones were going through difficult times, and
1. James wanted to help them be ‘doers of the Word’;
2. He wanted to move some of them out of a dead faith so they would be able to persevere through the trials; and
3. He wanted to save some who may have thrown up their hands and given up!
Remember to Pray
Oh LORD, OUR CREATOR, whose hands made us and fashioned us, we ask that You help us see and help us understand what You are saying, that we may learn Your Word and commandments, (Psalm 119:73). Thank you!
LOOK at What God SAYS
Let GODcha steer us straight.
What will you do today to focus on what God says?
Yes, you guessed it. . .
READ God’s Word
Read James 1:2-4.
Ask the 5W’s and H Questions.
One day this will become like second nature to you.
Let’s concentrate on ‘trials’ in James 1:3.
What does James call the trial?
Unlock the Meaning
GODcha Suggests Key Words
Shall we unpack the word ‘testing’?
Understand God’s Words
Let’s Sharpen Our Understanding
What does ‘testing’ mean?
Testing, dokímion, approved, tried. The means of proving, a criterion or test by which anything is proved or tried, as faith by afflictions (James 1:3).
TIP: Remember to take what you have learned back to the text.
v3 “knowing that the testing [the proving] of your faith produces endurance…”
Those in the church, believers, were being tested.
The testing was to prove if their faith was the real deal.
LISTEN. . .
What do you hear?
Is my faith the real deal?
How is my faith being tested?
How am I reacting to the test?
What is the testing proving about my faith?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
This Is So Personal For Each of Us.
When our world is shaken, turned upside down, the Lord is there to help us not panic.
When you are in despair,
Let your faith kick in to trust God Almighty.
Stop and turn to Him.
Seek Him, hear Him in your testing.
Let’s LOOK at Other Truths About
Scripture is the Most Valuable Commentary on Scripture
THINK and REASON asking the 5W’s and H Questions.
What is being tested?
Why the testing?
What happens when tested?
What is the result?
Understand: Digging Truth out for yourself has more impact and helps you remember it.
Remember: You are spending time with your Creator, who loves you, and is speaking to you.
LISTEN to the Holy Spirit,
Don’t be in a hurry!
Okay. . .
In 2Ch 32:31,
Who was tested? Who did the testing? Why?
God Tested: King Hezekiah
For God to know all that was in his heart.
God knows our hearts,
The condition of our heart that we may not be aware of is revealed through the testing.
LISTEN. . .
Do I know what is in my heart?
What is my testing revealing about my heart?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
Now Let’s Camp Here a Minute.
You may be going through a testing and God is trying to show you your heart.
I want to show you something.
Remember GODcha offers you a Word Search?
Try it on your own, then we’ll talk.
What did your discovery show you?
Perhaps: the thoughts of my heart are evil (Gen 6:5).
Or, I have:
- a hardened heart (Exo 7:22); (Mar 8:17);
- a heart that loves the LORD (Deut 6:5);
- a rebellious heart (Jer 5:23);
- a tender heart (2Ki 22:19);
- a pure heart (Psa 73:1);
- an embittered heart (Psa 73:21);
- a steadfast heart (Psa 112:7);
- a proud heart (Pro 16:5);
- a deceitful/sick heart (Jer 17:9);
- a new heart (Eze 36:26);
- an unrepentant heart (Rom 2:5);
- an enlightened heart (Eph 1:18);
- a heart of compassion, kindness, humility…(Col 3:12);
- an unbelieving heart (Heb 3:12).
Did You Hear God Speak?
What did God show you about the condition of your heart?
Ask Him: “Search me O God, and know my heart…see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (Psa 139:23-24).
What is the condition of my heart?
Did you just scan the list,
or did you stop at each characteristic and ponder — giving the Spirit time to speak?
Let’s consider for example: a hardened heart….(Mar 8:17)
NOTE: I went back in and read the verses that surround v17 for better understanding.
Do I have a hard heart?
What has caused my heart to grow hard?
Is it because I am following religious leaders like the Pharisees who are hardened against Truth?
Am I preoccupied with my next meal like the disciples in this passage, forgetting what Jesus has provided and done for me?
Has my hard heart inhibited me from seeing, understanding, and hearing Jesus?
What can change my heart?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
Do you see how wonderful to sit at the feet of Jesus, and connect with Him, and LISTEN to His Word to you?
Yes, there are several Cross References for ‘testing‘ that we didn’t get through today, that’s okay.
I want you to see there is NO rush!
Your goal is not to get through a passage(s), but rather to hear from God.
You don’t want to miss what God is showing you,
desiring of you.
Remember God is speaking to you through His Word by His Spirit,
wanting to reveal much to you.
He desires that intimate relationship with you!
So, Let’s Wind Down!
Ponder and chew on the Truths God is teaching you.
“Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD,” (Psa 104:34).
What touched you today?
Talk to your loving Father!
Put Your Discovery and Insights in Your Notes.
As we close for the day remember,
take a minute to put what you LEARNED from the Definitions and Cross References not only in your Notes, but in your hardbound Bibles too, next to Jam 1:2-4.
Take it from me, if you don’t do it now, you won’t.
I’ll help you if you like. . .
FATHER GOD, thank you for Your Word that is so rich and powerful. Thank you so much for continuing to meet us right where we are at, and opening up Your Word to us. We are so grateful that You are giving us more understanding about how You test us Lord through trials. Father, may our trials now begin to make sense to us. Oh Father, help us to grasp all that our little pea brains can muster, so we will be able to have an attitude of joy, no matter what. Oh Father, may we grasp that every trial, big or small, is to test our faith. May the light of Your Word shine into our hearts. Oh, I so pray we would not make excuses for our hearts, but that we would desire that new heart You promised that is tender and pure, and loves You above all things. Oh Father, as we meet with You and You speak Your living Word to us, may we be changed and transformed by it through the power of Your Spirit. We ask these things in Jesus name. Amen!
Can’t wait to see you next time, letting God instruct and teach us properly, (Isa 28:26).
Next: we will continue to LOOK @ the ‘testing of our faith’ in James 1:2-4.
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