James 1:1-4  Joy in Trials ?


Whenever you are starting a book of the Bible it is always good to answer three important questions

A) Author -  Audience – Agenda


B) Over 100 email per week – same thing

1) Author who is it from

2) Audience: is it to me personally or 100’s of pp

3) Agenda: Purpose – what want – need –


C) Author: It is God – All Scripture given by inspiration of God. { GOD BREATHED

1) Instrument: James { Jimmy


James was the brother of JC – ½ Brother: Same mother different fathers

A) Jesus: God – James: Joseph


B) We know from History and Matthew 12:46 Mary had other Chidren. Jesus is told

1) Your mother and brothers are outside.



Imagine growing up being the younger brother of Jesus

A) Talk about an act to live up to! Resentful



B) Early on they didn’t believe.

Jn.7:5 “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”


To believer 1 Cor.15:7 “After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.” (he received a special visit from his Lord)

Jesus became more than his sibling, He became his Savior!


To PillarGal.2:9 “and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”

Church; known as “Camel Knees” because of his prayer life.


To MartyrJosephus records that James was martyred in  A.D.62.

Eusebius records he was beaten to death w/a club after being thrown from the temple parapet.


D) Here The Younger brother refers to himself as a Bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ


Bondservant:  Willing servant

A) Debt: Seven yrs service to pay it off

     Bank – Church Mortgage


B) After seven yrs of service that slave was able to go free – completely cleared of his debt

1) But if good Master – The Slave could Choose to Keep serving – become a bondservant

C) Elders of the city official covenant

1) Ear pierced door jam – hole in the ear and blood on the door


D) Earring with a tag – Marked them – I willingly belong to ……

1) I am a willing servant


That is how James identifies himself here:

A) A willing servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ


B) Now, don’t pass over that too quickly – look again

Trinitarian truth in this first verse


C) Bondservant only had one master: You couldn’t be a bondslave to two masters

1) James says I am the bondservant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ


D) Insight into the Doctrine of the trinity There is one God who exist in 3 persons –

1) God the Father / the Son / the HS


E) Here in this simple introduction we see that truth proclaimed


A marked servant

A) What marks us as a servant of Jesus Christ

1) Business card?

2) Title Pastor – Not my identity

C) Answer: Lifestyle seen the most in how we deal with people. { Teri McEwen – loved Jesus served pp


So there is the Author: Instrument James



“To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”

A) Tribe: Not Survivor – Clan or families


He wrote to Jewish believers throughout the Roman world, who were having trials & problems.


What was going on? They had fled during the Acts 8:1 persecution. “…At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

Agenda: He wrote to mature their faith!


James the Challenger – 54 “Imperatives”/commands in just 108 vs. - Wow!

A) James is a very practical book that discusses “living the Faith”!


Been called  How-ToBook on Christian Living! (Christian Living for Dummies!)


B) It’s the N.T.’s book of Proverbs; you’ll hear bits of the Sermon on the Mt. in it; & you’ll see many O.T. word pictures & references.

C) James refers to: Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, Job, & Elijah, & alludes to 21 O.T. books!


C) A Main theme:  – “True Faith is a Faith that Works!”

If we truly practice our faith it will be seen in:

1) It deals w/the crucial relationship between faith & active works!


D) It’s balancing right belief w/right behavior.

“See, Christianity must not only be believed, it must be lived!”


E) The type of Christianity that has “no experience of a changed life”, is no Christianity at all!


Well lets consider it’s first transforming truth Rd 2-4

2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.



Trials are a part of the Christian life!

A) Various trials   = many colored - The trials that we go thru come in many different colors / Shapes & Sizes/ many colored


B) Color of Financial trials / Health trials / relationship trials / on & on

1) But the trial is producing something in us


C) That is why we rejoice: Note not rejoicing FOR the trial {  PTL I lost my job/ PTL – car wreck


D) Not rejoicing for the trial but rejoicing IN the trial because we KNOW  it is doing something –


Sometimes in the midst of trials people say – I can’t see any good thing coming out of this trial

A) But the Bible doesn’t say: Seeing that the testing of … produces patience


B) I usually can’t see what the trial is producing at all:  I can guess but I don’t see it

1) Usually don’t until it is over –might not until glory


C)– but doesn’t say we will see it / Know it


D) This is a matter of faith: Not seeing but Knowing

1) Romans 8:28 Knowing this that all things… for good to those who love God … purposes


How do we come to Know that?

A) Faith is rooted in who God is: Faithful and true

Based on His  Character -


B) Faithfulness in the word – lives of others, David / Joseph / 


C) Past faithfulness to us{ Proven track record

1) And Each trial is meant to build up your faith for the next one. .

 Basketball in HS a running team: preseason conditioning camp was brutal - coach ran us hard - guys throw up

A)1st year I experienced excruciating leg cramps - come on me at night while I was doing home work – scream, throw myself back in chair


B) It was a very difficult time - but it resulted in me being in the best  shape of my life .

1)  When Basketball was over - and went into Baseball which was my main sport - I was stronger, quicker, faster.  Incredible


C) Stole more bases than I ever had before


D) The following fall when Basket ball conditioning camp came around I actually looked forward to it because I knew what the  results would be. 


E) That is what James is getting at here. Count it all Joy because you know it is producing

1) Working to make you better


Talking with a friend in Oregon yesterday: went thru a heavy trial, wife indicted – falsely accused

A) Heavy thing – Sent them to their Knees – dependence on the Lord grew


B) It was a year long ordeal – being sued – falsely accused, fraud, possibly going to jail – nightmare


C) Clung to Jesus - God vindicated them

1) Faith grew / their marriage grew / prayer life grew



Next trial daughter had a severe case of Anorexia

A) Had to be hospitalized - 


B) It was so much easier to go thru that trial because God had brought them thru the other one!


Now in Peter’s epistle: 1 Peter 1:6 he declares that trials reveal if our faith is Genuine. Is it real

A) What happens to Plastic in Fire? – It burns up – it dissolves


B) You can take a piece of Plastic and shape it like a gold brick / paint it gold – and put it into the Fire – guess what – going to burn up

1) Reveal that it is not gold at all


C) That is what happens to Plastic faith – in the fire – not real


True faith – like gold when put into the fire it melts – It becomes liquefied so that the goldsmith can mold & shape it

A) Jesus made light of this in Matt. 13 in the Parable of the sower – the seed sown among the stones – shallow soil


B) Person who has had an emotional response to the gospel – excited – like the idea

1) Not real faith – or genuine – When the heat comes planted, withered – no root


C) Because it had no root system – describes a person who’s faith is more of an emotional response not rooted in the Lord – Not Genuine faith –


D) So the Fire – reveals the Genuineness of our faith –


Genuine faith is going to produce patience in the trial

A) Actually endurance: To bear up under pressure and survive! Can’t be conquered


B) Comes out better than before – Lump coal / pressed = diamond


C) Faith is really like a muscle!{ God wants to work it and make it stronger

1) Trials are the weight training - Built up thru work


D) God is seeking thru the trial to build up our Spiritual endurance

1) Something that He is doing






So  James says – let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing     LET IT

A) This tells us that the work that God wants to do involves our Submissive will


B) Let it work – not resist, run, complain



Wiersbe insight. They do not last forever; they are “for a season.” When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. If we rebel, He may have to reset the clock; but if we submit, He will not permit us to suffer one minute too long. The important thing is that we learn the lesson He wants to teach us and that we bring glory to Him alone.



Goal Perfect complete lacking in nothing:

A) Complete,", holokleros, holos means whole, we get a word today, holograph which is a 360 degree picture,


B) Holography, holos and kleros means all the portions. He wants you to be all portions intact, well- rounded, full put together spiritually.


C) This is a personality which has reached its full development.

1) Gold in the fire – Impurities

2) Finished when sees His reflection

Trial By Fire

F. B. Meyer explained it this way: “A bar of iron worth $2.50, when wrought into horseshoes is worth $5. If made into needles it is worth $175. If into penknife blades it is worth $1,625. If made into springs for watches it is worth $125,000.

What a ‘trial by fire’ that bar must undergo to be worth this! But the more it is manipulated, and the more it is hammered and passed through the heat, beaten, pounded, and polished, the greater its value.”



So James declares that the various trials that we go thru are part of God’s plan to make you Complete – Lacking in nothing

A) But this is what is neat – Peter uses this same word – various – in 1 Peter 4:10 When talking about the Manifold grace of God


B) Same word -  ( Manifold – many colored Grace of God) - The Connection presents an awesome truth !!!


Our troubles may be many-coloured, but so is the grace of God; there is no colour in the human situation which that grace cannot match.

A) There is a grace to match every trial and there is no trial without its grace.


B) As we go thru the Trial – the Lord reveals that His Grace is Suff. His power is made perfect in our times of weakness

 1) Paul says therefore I will glory in my infirmity – for when I am weak then I am strong – His power working in my weakness


C) So let Patience Have it work in you in the mist of that trial – because God is going to supply you w/ grace to make it thru if you don’t run –


Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

A benevolent person gave Mr. Rowland Hill a hundred pounds to dispense to a poor minister a bit at a time, thinking it was too much too send him all at once.

Mr. Hill forwarded five pounds in a letter, with only these words within the envelope, "More to follow."

In a few days' time, the good man received another letter; this 2nd messenger contained another five pounds, w/ the same motto, "And more …. follow."


A day or two after came a third and a fourth, and still the same promise, "And more to follow."/ Just went on & on for quite some time 


Every blessing that comes from God is sent with the same message, "And more to follow." "I forgive you your sins, but there's more to follow."


 "I justify you in the righteousness of Christ, but there's more to follow." "I adopt you into my family, but there's more to follow."


"I prepared you for heaven, but there's more to follow." "I give you grace upon grace, but there's more to follow."


"I have helped you even to old age, but there's still more to follow."


"I will uphold you in the hour of death, and as you are passing into the next world, my mercy shall still continue with you, and when you land in the world to come there shall still be more to follow."


Every obstacle is met by His grace / Every victory we are reminded of His Gracious hand upon our lives / Every Failure is met w/ Grace


Jesus Endured for the Joy set before him