Grasping the Significance of your Trials. Rev. Christopher J. Respass. Grasping the Significance of Your Trials (James 1:2-8). Trials & Tribulations are designed to evaluate your faith and move you closer to Christian maturity (v.2-3). A. We experience many trials:
Rev. Christopher J. Respass
A. We experience many trials:
--financial death doubts in faith
--marriage bullies others
B. Believe it or not, these trials ultimately evaluate or test your faith or your faith system.
1. unsaved: moves you to rethink about your faith system and challenge what you believe.
2. saved: moves you to retool, reinforce or replenish your faith in Christ.
Q: Why should you experience trials to learn the quality of your faith?
1. Without the test, you don’t know the quality of your faith.
2. Without the test, you don’t know what you’ve learned.
3. The test discovers your ability to apply what you’ve learned rather than merely regurgitate it verbally.
C. Notwithstanding the Trials and Tribulations, we are encouraged to “Count it All Joy!”
1. Not because of the trial, but what the trial will produce.
2. Because the trial will develop a lasting benefit that will impact and infect our lives.
3. Because the product of our challenge will outlast our momentary afflictions.
Q: What are some of the products and lasting benefits of our Trials and Tribulations?
A. To “persevere” is to persist in an undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition and discouragement.
1. You can only “go through” by persevering.
2. If you’ve prayed to God once on an issue—you’ve prayed, but not persevered.
B. The goal of perseverance is spiritual maturity and completeness.
1. In the Christian walk, we will:
a) entertain counter influences (e.g., spiritual battles)
b) experience opposition (e.g, people standing against you)
c) encounter discouragement (internal and external)
2. In Romans 5:3-4, Paul indicates that we can rejoice in our sufferings because they initiate a spiritual chain reaction:
Suffering Perseverance Character Hope
3. As we persevere:
a) We move beyond elementary thoughts about our walk and embrace the weightier matters of the faith.
b) We develop a faith that withstands fire (e.g., 3 Hebrew Boys (Dan. 3:16-26).
c) our character is matured and moves toward completion in Christ.
III. Our “Perseverance Process” may reveal that we lack wisdom to properly encounter trials (v.5).
A. If we lack wisdom, we should ask for it.
B. This wisdom is not philosophical or theoretical classroom wisdom, but from God.
C. Contexually, this wisdom understands the nature and purpose of trials and knowing “how to” meet them victoriously.
A. Your “belief” must expect God to respond.
B. You shouldn’t be a doubter
1. tossed to and fro by the waves.
2. unstable in all your positions and ways
C. If you doubt God, don’t expect him to answer.
1. Takes faith to please God (Heb. 11:1)
2. Jesus didn’t perform many miracles because of doubters (Matt 13:53-58).
D. Note: our faith doesn’t empower God to act!
1. God is all-powerful, doesn’t need us.
2. God has chosen to respond to our faith and incorporate it in how he performs.
A. Keep your eyes keenly focused on the cross and your heavenly reward (Phil. 3:12-16).
B. Know there’s a Plan for you: accept that each day and experience moves you one step closer to maturity in Christ.
C. Trust the Father!