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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Practical Christianity

Passing The Tests Of Life

James 1.1-4

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[There was a young man who took his college exam and made a zero.  He went in to the professor and said, "I don't think I deserve this grade."  The professor replied, "I don't think you did either, but it was the lowest grade I could give.] 

Things To Learn About Temptation: 

A.     The Time of Temptation (vs 1-2) [- James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; ] 

1.      The Scattered (vs 1; Matt 10.14-23) [- . . . to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, . . . – James, the brother of our Lord, is writing to a Church that has already been scattered abroad.  The Church was scattered by the persecution that was being leveled against it.  Our Lord Jesus Christ knew that such persecution would come upon His people and instructed them, ] 

[Matthew 10:14-23 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. ]

2.      The Scorched (vs 2; 2 Tim 3.12) [–  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; -  Trials are not an “if,” they are a “when.”  Whether you are a Christian or not you can expect difficulty in life.  There will be trials, oppression, misunderstanding, and rejection.  Christianity will not make you immune.  We set new Christians up for failure when we allow them to believe that living this Christian life is easy, or that tests and trials will not come into their lives.  The Bible clearly declares,] 

[2 Timothy 3:12 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.]

[A Rose Garden - Perhaps the best analogy that can be given of the life born again Christians can expect to live when they walk with their Lord is that of a beautiful rose garden.  There are all kinds of beautiful blooms, and wonderful fragrances.  Life abounds in a rose garden, there are birds, butterflies, and even Bees among those beautifully flowered stems.  But it will not take you long to realized that there are more thorns in that rose garden than there are roses and those thorns hurt.] 

[It has been accurately said that if you are not in a trial, then you have probably just come out of a trial, and you can rest assured that you will soon be in a trial.  There is no doubt that life is filled with trials and tribulation.] 

B.     The Types of Temptation (vs 2; 1 Cor 10.13) – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; - The words Divers Temptations indicates that trials and temptations are of various kinds. Your temptations may not be like mine because they come in different forms.  We should not expect that our trials and temptations will be like someone else’s trials and temptations.  However we should never feel that our trails are more severe than someone else’s either.  We must resist the temptation to feel that no one has ever been tested like I am being tested.  God assures us,] 

[1 Corinthians 10:13 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.]

[For the sake of our study of this text, Christians need to understand that our trials and temptations take on two basic forms representing the two different agents at work in every trial.  Your Temptations Are,] 

1.      A Test or Trial (1 Pet 1.6-7) [- Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: - Your Heavenly Father allows trials and tests into your life so that he can purify you, and mature you.  His intention in every trial is to build you up and cause you to stand. 

2.      A Temptation (1 Pet 5.8-9) [– Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. This is a solicitation to evil.  As a tempting to sin.  This is not sent by God, but by the devil to cause one to stumble. ]  

[Someone has said,]

[The devil may turn up the fire, but God has His hand on the thermostat.] 

["One is meant for our maturity
 the other is meant for our misery." - Adrian Rodgers]

C.     The Trap of Temptation (vs 2; Luke 10.30, cf. Job 1.13) [- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; - Temptations come suddenly.] 

[Luke 10:30 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. ]

[This man, in the story of the good Samaritan, was merely walking down the road when suddenly, at the worst possible time, he fell among thieves.  Surely he did not know the thieves were there waiting for him or he would have turned back or gone another way.  That’s how trials and temptations will come upon you.  They will come suddenly, as though one fell into a trap.]

[I think of Job, who in a day (Job 1.13) lost all that he had.  He lost all of his possessions, and all of his family.  All in a day.  The point is that trials and temptations will come upon you suddenly and often at what seems like the worst possible time.]

["We must always be ready to meet at our average moment, anything that any of our enemies may hurle at us at his selected moment.][" Winston Churchill] 

[Are you ready to meet the Devil at his selected moment?] 

D.    The Test of Temptation (vs 3-4; 1 Cor 10.13; Rom 8.28; 1 Pet 5.6) [- Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. - It is God's will that you have victory over your temptations.  The test of your temptations is wrapped up in what you really believe about God when you are in the hottest moment of your trial.  Do you really believe that God intends for you to stand, find victory, and grow as a result of your test?  Do you really believe that God can keep His promises as He has said,] 

[1 Corinthians 10:13 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.]

[Romans 8:28 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.]

[There's an old saying: Outlook determines outcome.  Attitude determines action.  Attitude determines altitude.] 

1.      [Words, in this text, that guide us to victory:] 

a.       [Count (vs 2) - Means to lead the way.  Consider these things because they lead the way to advancement in your life.  You just can't get there without this happening in our life.] 

b.      [Knowing  (vs 3) - In order for us to view our trials with the proper mindset we have to comprehend their end results and realize that they are not bad for us.  Our Heavenly Father is good, and will work even this trial for our good.] 

c.       [Letting (vs 4) - There is surrender in this word.  It means to cease your fighting and let go.  Allow the trial to work its result of maturity.] 

[1 Peter 5:6 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: ]

E.     The Treasures of Temptation (vs 3-4) 

1.      Trials Produce Enjoyment (vs 3) [- . . . count it all joy . . . – This strikes our worldly lost counter parts as a most ridiculous statement.  Who would expect to find joy in the midst of trials and tribulation?  But, for the Christian, trials can and should bring the fullest possible joy into one’s life.  If you are fully persuaded the God has a purpose and is in full control of your trial, then you ought to carry a deep spiritual sense of joy and contentment, even in the midst of the trial.  Trials declare to the born again Christian, God is getting ready to bless you in a big way.] 

["Temptations rightly used are but the prelude to great blessings."] 

2.      Trials Produce Endurance (vs 3) [- . . . worketh patience . . . - God wants to teach you how to endure - Temptations work patience.  The Greek word for patience means to bear up under, endure, or be steadfast. Endurance implies strength.  Hence, God is making you stronger through your trials.] 

3.      Trials Produce Enlargement (vs 4) [- . . . perfect and entire . . . - The Greek word for perfect here does not mean sinless.  There is a difference between perfection and sinlessness.  God is trying to make you mature.] 

["When you look at a rose and say, 'that's perfect,' you don't mean its sinless.  You mean its beautiful."] 

4.      Trials Produce Enrichment (vs 4) [- . . . wanting nothing . . . - Wanting nothing.  Trials will not rob you they will enrich you.] 

["James is making an appeal to recognize that every test, every trial, every tribulation, with the accompanying sorrow and disappointment, is a God given opportunity for growth and development in the Christian life." - Dr. Johnny Hunt]



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