Do I turn to God when suffering?

Do I praise Him in suffering and/or cheerfulness?


We read James Chapter 5:13-18 with a questioning mindset.


Let’s break this paragraph up into smaller bites, sinking our teeth into verse 13 and see what we can discover. 

Open GODcha to the Book of James.

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Let’s Pray

O Lord, we come to You, asking that You lead us and guide us in Your Truth. Help us see Your Word today. Please open our minds to understand what You are saying, and help us to see why You are saying these things.  Lord, teach us to think and live in the light of what You show us.  Teach us Your ways so we will walk in Your truth. Thank you so much. (Luk 24:44-47); (Psa 86:11)


Let’s LOOK at What God Says 

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Where will you begin?


Let’s read James 5:13-18 together, asking the 5W’s and H questions.

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You might read out loud as you will not only see the Word, but saying it and hearing it helps you remember it.

Let’s focus on verses 13.


Before we dig in,

Consider CONTEXT

Do you remember in Chapter 1:

Who James is writing to?

Their difficult, overwhelming, almost unbearable circumstances?

His call for them to endure?


Now then he comes back around in Chapter 5. . .

To enduring their trials — encouraging them:

To be patient, strengthen their hearts –

like the farmer;

take the example of the prophets;

remember the endurance of Job;

Do NOT to complain;

Do NOT to swear; and

Those who endure are blessed.

James is saying hang on! The Lord is coming!


So….Hold on to all of this as we. . .


About What We Just Read, and Let It Sink In!

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Unplug Your Ears!

As in James’ usual way, he jams much into these short verses, so we are going to LOOK very slowly and carefully!

THINK with me. . .

What was key and repeated in verses 13-18?

Did you see prayer’ in every verse?

Mark it in your Bibles.

Consider: Could James be saying in order to be patient, to endure, you need to pray?


In verse 13, What does James ask first?

Is any among you suffering?


1. What does suffering mean?

Sufferingkakopathéō; to undergo hardship:—be afflicted, endure afflictions (hardness), suffer trouble. To suffer evil or afflictions, to be afflicted (2Ti 2:9; Jas 5:13).

TIP: Don’t forgettake what you have learned back to the text.

“Is any among you suffering (afflicted, undergoing hardship, suffering trouble, evil)?


Didn’t we conclude these precious ones were going through tribulations, suffering, persecution, etc.?

Oh my gosh, THINK, you all!

What’s it like to endure when you are in that bottomless pit;

In those difficult testings and sufferings;

persecuted for your faith?

Have you been:

broken, crushed, demoralized,

disappointed, discouraged, depressed;

in shock, distress, ruin;

weary and overcome by exhaustion?

What do you do?


2. What is the suffering one to do?

How will he/she endure?

THINK: NOT complain or swear (Jam 5:9, 12) but. . .



3. What does pray mean?

Prayproseúchomai; supplicate, worship:—pray (earnestly, for), make prayer. (I) In the NT, is always directed toward God, whether stated or implied (. . . Jas 5:13, 18).

The Grammar is The Present Imperative Active (pim).

Yes, a command!

We see: We are to turn to God.


4. Let’s do a little Cross Referencing.

a. Why do we turn to the Lord?

1Pe 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1Pe 5:7)


b. What will the Lord do?

Psa 55:22

When we cast our burden on the Lord, He sustains us, never letting the righteous be shaken. (Psa 55:22)


c. What are we to do? What will God do?

Phi 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, with surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:6-7)


d. What else will the Lord do?

2Co 1:3-5

The sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, but God who is the God of all comfort is faithful to comfort us in our afflictions. (2Co 1:3-5)


Bring It Together

Understand: When we are suffering and turn to God, He is there to sustain us, comfort us and give us peace!



a. How many times have I been stuck in suffering, and I haven’t prayed? Why might this be?

b. Or, do I know that I know God is there, loves, me, and I turn to Him for help?

c. Do I know I can pray any time, any where, any place to God? 

d. Do I simply ask Him for the ability to endure?

e. Do I ask God for wisdom at every turn?

f. Do I ask Him for help to obey all He has commanded in this letter — to go thru the suffering His way, not my way?

g. Do I ask God to help me endure my sufferings with that attitude of joy? 

h. Do I ask God to help me have His perspective on the suffering, knowing He is teaching me obedience, refining me, bringing about endurance and making me perfect?

Respond to God. . .LIVE it out!


In verse 13, What else does James ask?

Is any among you cheerful?

Here is the flip side –

1. What does cheerful mean?

Cheerfuleuthuméōof a good mind, attitude. To be of good cheer, of a cheerful mind (. . . James 5:13 [see Prov. 15:15]).

TIP: Remember – take what you have learned back to the text.

“Is any among you cheerful (of a good mind, attitude)?”

2. What does James tell the cheerful one to do?

Sing praises

3. What does praise mean?

Praisepsállōto play on a stringed instrument. Because stringed instruments were commonly used both by believers and heathen in singing praises to their respective gods, it meant to sing, sing praises or psalms to God whether with or without instruments (. . . James 5:13;. . )

The Grammar is The Present Imperative Active (pim).

Another command!


Webster’s Dictionary: express warm approval or admiration of; express one’s respect and gratitude toward (a deity), especially in song: we praise God for past blessings.


Understand: Praising God is a form of prayer, a thankful form.

Know: Praising God is giving God the recognition He deserves.


4. What do you discover about praise?

a. Psa 94:6

The Lord is worthy to be praised! (Psa 94:6)

Understand: Being worthy,

-then you stand on what you know about God, the truths and power of God.

-remember His faithfulness and goodness to you.

-remember His promises to you.

This is how we cope with trials and suffering.


THINK: Is the Lord your greatest joy?

We must get to this point, then all our sufferings, afflictions, hardships won’t matter because we know He has it all under control. 


b. Job 35:10

God gives songs in the night. (Job 35:10)


c. Act 16:25

Paul and Silas when suffering in jail in Philippi, prayed and sang praises unto God. (Act 16:25)

Understand: When we praise the Lord, it moves our heart and eyes on to Him, and off our earthly circumstances.


d. Eph 5:19-20

Paul encouraged the Ephesians to speak with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit

Sing and make music from your heart

to the Lord,  

always giving thanks 

to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:19-20)

We see: Praising God comes from the heart and is motivated by the Spirit!


 e. Col 3:16

Songs and singing must be based on the Word of God. (Col 3:16)

THINK: Have you ever heard a song that didn’t really line up with God’s Word?

Do you wonder if  such a song is acceptable to God?


You might consider a Word Search on praise(s)(ed).


Bring It Together

THINK: When suffering, when down, we must fight for that attitude to consider it all joy!

Sometimes I have to put on praise music to help get my eyes back on the Lord and not on my circumstances!


And when cheerful, all is going well, don’t forget God, sing praises to Him. Psa 103:2 


In every joy that crowns my days, In every pain I bear, My heart shall find delight in praise, Or seek relief in prayer. – Mrs. Williams.



Is it natural for me to praise God from my heart? 

Respond to God. . .LIVE it out!


Let’s Call It a Day!

Shut out the world, and be quiet before the Lord.

Ponder and chew on God’s holy bread.

God wants you to  “consider what He is saying and let Him give you understanding in everything,” (2Ti 2:7).


Talk to God.

He loves you and desires you, and I, to turn to Him.

The Lord is there, present at all times, near and ready to help!


Record Your Discovery

Typing what you have LEARNED helps you bury Truth down deep into your head and heart.

I also put the Definitions and Cross References next to these verses in my hardbound Bible.

Journal your conversations with God.


Turn What We LEARNED into Prayer


OH FATHER GOD, YOU WHO ARE HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS, SO MAJESTIC, we bow before You today with praise for who You are. We thank you for Your faithfulness to us, for your constant goodness. We are most grateful for all You provide for us spiritually and physically. Oh Father, may we learn to turn to You and receive Your wisdom in our personal sufferings! And learn to acknowledge You when we are cheerful and everything is going well. Please Father, help us to be like Paul, no matter his circumstance, he was always rejoicing! Help us truly get to the point that You really are our joy and reason for living. Change our hearts oh God! Whether in our personal sufferings, or cheerfulness, may praise come automatically from our hearts!  We ask this in Jesus name! Amen!


You’re doing GREAT!

Next: We’ll LOOK at sickness!

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