Faithlife Sermons

The Way to Overcome Trials and Temptations

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1)    Introducción

a)    Vimos que las pruebas son comunes a todos, que debemos tenerlas por sumo gozo, que por medio de ellas llegamos a ser hombres perfectos

b)    Queremos seguir este pensamiento -- ¿cómo debemos actuar en las pruebas?

2)    1 - Pedir sabiduría a Dios

a)    When the unexpected trials of life land on our doorstep, How are we to respond? How are to pray –– what should we ask God for? Does James exhort us to ask for deliverance from the trial? Are we encouraged to seek an easy life? Does he suggest that we find the easy way out?
You’ll observe that we are not instructed to pray for the trial to be removed, or for deliverance, or for ease – and yet this is very common in our prayers, isn’t it? God is concerned about making us mature in Jesus. He’s concerned about character transformation. He’s concerned about the fruit of the Spirit. James gives the answer, Prayer for WISDOM

b)    Why do we need wisdom when we are going through trials? Why not ask for strength, or grace, or even deliverance? For this reason: we need wisdom so we will not waste the opportunities God is giving us to mature. Wisdom helps us understand how to use these circumstances for our good and God’s glory.

c)    Pro. 4:7-9

d)    Wisdom allows us to see our trials from a different perspective.....HIS.
a Imagine you and me standing before the Father and we see all the trials, tests we’ve had in our lives that He gave us in order for us to grow stronger, mature, develop a more loving relationship with Him. INSTEAD...we got angry, bitter, cynical, critical because of them.
b Wisdom helps us see things from an elevated view.

e)    Wisdom not only understands the trials and temptations, but it understands what to do with them and how to do it, and it does it. Wisdom acts and conquers and gains the victory over the trials and temptations.

f)    Pro. 3:5-7

g)    “pídala” – un mandato -- Although God has wisdom in abundance ( Rom. 11:33 ) and is infinitely more willing to impart His wisdom than we are to ask for it, He nevertheless expects us to ask Him for it.

i)     “Porque yo sé los pensamientos que tengo acerca de vosotros, dice Jehová, pensamientos de paz, y no de mal, para daros el fin que esperáis.  12 Entonces me invocaréis, y vendréis y oraréis a mí, y yo os oiré;  13 y me buscaréis y me hallaréis, porque me buscaréis de todo vuestro corazón. Jer. 29:11-13

ii)    Abraham Lincoln said on one occasion: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of those about me seemed insufficient…

h)    Note the wonderful promises made to us when we ask God for wisdom.

Þ  God will give us wisdom.

Þ  God will give us a liberal amount, an abundance of wisdom.

Þ  God will not reproach or rebuke us—not scold us—for not knowing how to handle the trial of temptation. The idea is that God will not even question us for lacking wisdom and for not knowing what to do.  We do not have to be afraid, for God is anxious to answer, and He will never scold us!

i)     God loves us: we are His sons and daughters. He is our Father, and He wants to meet our every need. Therefore, God will hear our request and cry; He will give us the wisdom to conquer the trials and temptations of life.

j)        Thomas came with doubts. Did Christ turn him away? Moses had his reservations. Did God tell him to go home? Job had his struggles. Did God avoid him? Paul had his hard times. Did God abandon him? No. God never turns away the sincere heart. Tough questions don’t stump God. He invites our probing. Mark it down. God never turns away the honest seeker. Go to God with your questions. You may not find all the answers, but in finding God, you know the One who does.

k)      we can come again and again without tiring God or being scolded by Him.

l)     James was nick named “Old Camel Knees”. “James carried the nickname ‘Old Camel Knees’ because of the thick calluses built up on his knees from many years of determined prayer’

m)  No solo qué pedir mas también cómo

i)        When we ask God to give us wisdom to conquer some trial or temptation, we must ask in faith and not waver. We must believe that God loves us and that He really cares and will hear our cries and prayers and meet our every need. When we pray and cry out to God, we cannot doubt; that is, we cannot ask and then... wonder if God really exists, wonder if God is really going to hear,  wonder if God can really do what we ask,  wonder if we really know God well enough for Him to hear us,          wonder if the request is the will of God.

ii)      Such doubting cannot be heard by God. God cannot answer the prayer of a doubting person. If He did, then He would be rewarding doubt—rewarding those who do not believe or trust Him. God cannot hear and answer a person who wavers in his faith. We must believe that God is, that He exists and that He does love and care for us and that He will hear and answer us when we ask for wisdom to face the trials and temptations of life.

iii)    A request that does not take God at His word, that doubts either His ability or His trustworthiness, is worthless and is an affront.

iv)    Note what Scripture says about the person who wavers in faith.

(1)   First, the person is just like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed to and fro.

(2)   Second, the person shall not receive anything of the Lord.

(3)    Third, the person who wavers in faith is a double-minded person, and he is unstable in all his ways. A person who wavers in faith lives a life that is up and down, back and forth. His whole behavior is unstable and unreliable. He is like a person with two minds: he is not sure; he is uncertain; he feels yes and then he feels no. He begins and then backs up, then begins again. He believes, then he disbelieves; he acts, then he distrusts and backs up. He is unstable in his prayer and life with God. When he goes through a severe trial, he turns to human resources rather than singularly trusting the Lord for answers and for help. Or he becomes bitter and resentful and seeks no help at all. He does not renounce God, but he acts as if God doesn’t exist, doesn’t care, or isn’t capable of delivering him from trouble.

(4)   What a descriptive picture of so many. This is the very reason so many of us receive so little from God. We either do not ask or else when we ask, we waver in believing that God will hear and answer us. As we face the trials and temptations of life, we must ask God for wisdom and believe that God will hear and show us the way and the power to conquer. When we pray believing, God will hear and answer us.

3)      2 – regocijarse en su situación

a)      El hermano de humilde condición

i)        that is, the saint who was economically poor and who represented most of the scattered and persecuted Jewish believers to whom he wrote. Despite that circumstance, however, such a believer was to glory in his high position. James is speaking of a legitimate form of pride that even the most destitute Christian can have in his high position as a child of God and in the countless blessings that position brings. He may be considered “the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” ( 1 Cor. 4:13 ) in the eyes of the world, but in God’s eyes he is exalted. He may be hungry, but he has the bread of life. He may be thirsty, but he has the water of life. He may be poor, but he has eternal riches. He may be cast aside by men, but he has been eternally received by God. He may have no home on earth, but he has a glorious abode in heaven. When God, in His wisdom and sovereignty, takes away physical possessions from some of His children, it is for the purpose of making them spiritually mature, a blessing infinitely more valuable than anything they have lost or have wanted but never possessed. The believer who is deprived in this life can accept that temporary and insignificant deprivation because he has a future divine inheritance that is both eternal and secure.

ii)      James then presents the other side of the principle. Just as a materially poor believer should rejoice in his spiritual riches, the materially rich man [should] glory in his humiliation. The idea is that a believer who is materially well-off, healthy, and otherwise physically blessed should rejoice when trials come, for they teach him the transitory nature of those material things and their inability to give inner and lasting satisfaction or help, especially spiritual help. Both he and his possessions are like flowering grass and will pass away. Because men, including believers, have a natural tendency to trust in material things, James gives special attention to the dangers of wealth. Expanding on the temporariness of physical things and emphasizing the danger of trusting in them, he adds, For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. This is a picture of the flowers and grasses of Israel, which flourish in February and dry up by May. The loss of material things is meant to drive the rich person to the Lord and to greater spiritual maturity, blessing, and satisfaction. And at that point, the rich and poor are exactly alike. Neither material possessions nor lack of them is of any ultimate consequence. What is of significance is a trusting relationship to the Lord, who showers all of His children with spiritual wealth that will never diminish or fail to satisfy. Faith in Christ to supply his needs lifts the lowly believer beyond his trials to the great height of a position in the eternal kingdom of Christ, where, as God’s child, he is rich and may rejoice and boast. Faith in Christ does an equally blessed thing for the rich believer, whose riches are temporary; it fills him with the spirit of lowliness and true humility. As the poor brother forgets all his earthly poverty, so the rich brother forgets all his earthly riches. The two are equals by faith in Christ. When you lose a daughter, son, wife, husband, or other loved one, wealth is no comfort. When you lose your health, are betrayed by a friend, or are wrongfully maligned, money cannot buy peace of mind or decrease the pain. Trials are the great equalizer, bringing all of God’s children to dependence on Him. Wealth does not bring God closer, nor does poverty keep Him further away.

4)      3 – Recordar la recompensa de soportar

a)      Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

b)      The person who endures temptation shall be “blessed”. This refers to this life, to the here and now. The word blessed means inward and spiritual joy and satisfaction; an inner assurance and confidence that carries one through all the trials and temptations of life no matter the pain, sorrow, loss, or grief. Simply stated, the person is secure in this life. He knows that God is looking after and caring for him and is going to deliver him from all the corruption and evil of this life including death, and give him life eternal.

c)      The person shall receive the crown of life in the next world. What is the crown of life? The believer who endures the temptations of life shall be crowned with life itself, eternal life—life that will go on and on, never ending. The eternal life that will be given the believer will shine more brightly than all the earthly crowns that have ever been worn by the rulers of this world.

d)     The person who endures trials and temptations is the person who will be blessed and receive the crown of life. Endurance is an absolute essential. A person has to confront the trials and temptations with the spirit of a conqueror; he has... to endure, to persevere, to be stedfast, to stand fast, The man who perseveres under trial is the man who never relinquishes his confident trust in God. He is a true believer, who perseveres and becomes the man who has been approved

e)      He has to conquer and triumph through Christ Jesus our Lord, and then he shall receive the promises of God. A person has to be tried and tested and has to prove faithful. He has to endure to the end in order to be saved and to inherit the crown of life.

f)       The person who loves the Lord is the person who endures. He is the person who is faithful to the Lord. He follows and obeys the Lord, doing all that the Lord commands. He follows Christ, obeying His commandments and enduring all the trials and temptations of this life.

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