“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:2-5
Jesus once told his disciples something very similar when he said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” The Christian life is full of trials and difficulties. In fact, these trials are necessary because they help us mature and grow in Christ’s image. James is calling the Christians to accept this reality and to embrace it as part of God’s sovereign plan to mature them.
But Jesus finished that statement in John with “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” James begins his letter by acknowledging the difficult challenges that lie ahead but he reminds them of their refuge and source of strength – God. And that is why he begins with a simple command – to ask God for wisdom. That’s the first step we take when dealing with any difficult situation.
Get wisdom from God.
In this sermon series, we want to explore the wisdom God provides when dealing with the trials and difficulties of the Christian life. James is full of practical ways to navigate tricky sin issues, divisions in the church, and the ever-wandering human heart. We call this tactical spirituality – living out our faith strategically, wisely, and practically. This is about getting down into the nitty gritty of application and pinpointing the small and large changes we need to make in the way we think about things, how we do things, and why we do them. We have to be wise and tactical in dealing with our trials, always leaning on the wisdom of God.
We look forward to growing with you all as we study the book of James!