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Aging Gracefully: Marks of the Mature Christian Part 2

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Marks of a mature Christian:
I. The Mature Christian Is Patient in Testing
A. Patience with trials on the outside—1:1–12
Name a trial or an issue you are battling right now.
It’s not hard is it?
Do you know why? B/c we will always, always , always have trials. issues, tests, etc. in this life!

The Bible tells us, don’t be surprised we have trials!

1 Peter 4:12 NIV
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
A coach I had as a child used to yell in practice "Buck Up!" A southern expression mean encourage us to get serious and be ready for the challenge. (I used this once in Connecticut with my church softball team-didn't go well.)
Would you like to be able to be a victor instead of a victim? You Can! PICTURES
Trials are also called tests.
A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out.
A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out.
Trials should not be seen as a punishment, a curse, or a calamity but something that must prompt rejoicing.
A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out.
Trials should not be seen as a punishment, a curse, or a calamity but something that must prompt rejoicing.
A coach I had as a child used to yell in practice "Buck Up!" A southern expression mean encourage us to get serious and be ready for the challenge. (I used this once in Connecticut with my church softball team-didn't go well.)

Bring the right attitude to the trial

Bring the right attitude to the trial
Consider it Joy v.2
Write down a trial you are currently dealing with at present:
Would you like to be able to be a victor instead of a victim? You Can! PICTURES
Would you like to be able to be a victor instead of a victim? You Can! PICTURES
Would you like to be able to be a victor instead of a victim? You Can! PICTURES
Trials are also called tests.
A test is given to see if a student can pass, not pass out.
Trials should not be seen as a punishment, a curse, or a calamity but something that must prompt rejoicing.
Be joyful!
Be joyful!
Be joyful!
James 1:2 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
What? that’s crazy!
Trials/tests are coming, not if but when.
It is important to note that James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials.
It is important to note that James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials.
It is important to note that James did not say that a believer should be joyous for the trials but in the trials.
Not, fortunate, not happy or supremely happy, but joy-all joy, pure joy.
Not, fortunate, not happy or supremely happy, but joy-all joy, pure joy.
Because trials are an opportunity to develop perseverance, and perseverance produces maturity.
James 1:4 NIV
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
jms 1 4
Trials/tests are coming, not if but when.
Peter spent three years in the school of trials to transform from sand to rock.
Peter spent three years in the school of trials to transform from sand to rock.
“Peter spent three years in the school of trials to transform from sand to rock.” -Anonymous
Having joy in tough times is not a natural reflex.
Having joy in tough times is not a natural reflex.
Having joy in tough times is not a natural reflex. This will take effort.
Big departure from the normal thinking of your un-believing friends, neighbors, co-workers and family.
Big departure from the normal thinking of your un-believing friends, neighbors, co-workers and family.
Big departure from your natural self.
Big departure from your natural self.
A believer can stand by pursuing, perceiving, and practicing the Word of God.
Trials from without and temptations from within are no match for a Christian who stands in the truth from above. --J. R. Blue, The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Trials from without and temptations from within are no match for a Christian who stands in the truth from above.
Trials from without and temptations from within are no match for a Christian who stands in the truth from above. --J. R. Blue, The Bible Knowledge Commentary
--J. R. Blue, The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Illustration: When I think of the testings of this life, I am reminded of the deacon who got up in a testimony meeting in which the people were being asked to give their favorite verses of Scripture. This deacon got up and said, "My favorite verse is 'It came to pass.'" The minister looked up in amazement, and all the people were puzzled. Finally, the pastor asked, "Brother what do you mean your favorite verse is 'It came to pass'?" The man replied, "When I have trouble and trials, I just go to the Lord and praise Him and say, 'I thank You, Lord, that it came to pass -- it didn't come to stay!'" --J. Vernon McGee.
Everything this side of Heaven is temporary, the good times and the bad times.
Everything this side of Heaven is temporary, the good times and the bad times.
Everything this side of Heaven is temporary, the good times and the bad times.

Understand the advantage of the trial

Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Understand the advantage of the trial

Becoming stronger. v.9 =JOY
Becoming stronger.
James 1:9 NIV
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
Christians can face trials with joy because there are rich advantages from these testings.
Christians can face trials with joy because there are rich advantages from these testings.
Trials, rightly taken, produce the sterling quality of endurance.
Trials, rightly taken, produce the sterling quality of endurance.
Trials, rightly taken, produce the sterling quality of endurance.
"Testing will either drive you to the Lord or it will drive you away from Him. You will either become bitter or better. So many Christians become bitter." --J. Vernon McGee.
"Testing will either drive you to the Lord or it will drive you away from Him. You will either become bitter or better. So many Christians become bitter." J. Vernon McGee.
"Testing will either drive you to the Lord or it will drive you away from Him. You will either become bitter or better. So many Christians become bitter." --J. Vernon McGee.

Maturity is the goal

Maturity is the goal
Maturity is the goal
Jesus talked about this on the Sermon on the Mount, and now his half-brother James is reminding us of this teaching.
Matthew 23:5 NIV
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
Matthew 5:3 NIV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3 NIV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:11–12 NIV
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
James encourages us further by showing us that this life is temporary.
The rich (those who seem to winning) are fading. v.11
James 1:11 NIV
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
The rich are fading. v.11
The rich are fading. v.11
The crown (reward) is waiting for you. v.12
The crown (reward) is waiting for you. v.12
James 1:12 NIV
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Matthew 5:11–12 NIV
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
james
Illustration: When I think of the testings of this life, I am reminded of the deacon who got up in a testimony meeting in which the people were being asked to give their favorite verses of Scripture. This deacon got up and said, "My favorite verse is 'It came to pass.'" The minister looked up in amazement, and all the people were puzzled. Finally, the pastor asked, "Brother what do you mean your favorite verse is 'It came to pass'?" The man replied, "When I have trouble and trials, I just go to the Lord and praise Him and say, 'I thank You, Lord, that it came to pass -- it didn't come to stay!'" --J. Vernon McGee.
Everything this side of Heaven is temporary, the good times and the bad times.
Trials can be faced with joy because, infused with faith, perseverance results, and if perseverance goes full-term it will develop a thoroughly mature Christian who lacks nothing.
Trials can be faced with joy because, infused with faith, perseverance results, and if perseverance goes full-term it will develop a thoroughly mature Christian who lacks nothing. We will indeed be all God wants us to be.
Trials can be faced with joy because, infused with faith, perseverance results, and if perseverance goes full-term it will develop a thoroughly mature Christian who lacks nothing.
He will indeed be all God wants him to be.
Understand the advantages of trials by knowing that all these trials and tests are for a purpose.
Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Know where to obtain assistance in the trial

Wisdom for the asking! v.5

Wisdom for the asking! v.5
James 1:5 NIV
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Q: When we are going through tria;s, what should we pray about?
Q: When we are going through trials, what should we pray about?
A: Ask God for wisdom.
A: Ask God for wisdom.
Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together.
Someone has said that knowledge is the ability to take things apart, while wisdom is the ability to put them together.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.
Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.
I once met a gifted professor on a seminary campus, and he was wearing two hats!
Illustration: A friend of mine said “I once met a gifted professor on a seminary campus, and he was wearing two hats!
PhD on golf course when raining? "What do we do now?"
Once heard of a PhD on golf course when raining ask, "What do we do now?
Why do we need wisdom when we are going through trials?
Why do we need wisdom when we are going through trials?
Why do we need wisdom when we are going through trials?
Why not ask for strength, or grace, or even deliverance?
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.
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.
Wisdom helps us understand how to use these circumstances for our good and God’s glory.
Ask believing.

Ask believing.

Ask believing.
James 1:6–8 NIV
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Not like the waves of the sea: up one minute and down the next.
Not like the waves of the sea: up one minute and down the next.
This is the experience of the “double-minded man.”
This is the experience of the “double-minded man.”
Faith says, “Yes!” but unbelief says, “No!”
Faith says, “Yes!” but unbelief says, “No!”
Then doubt comes along and says “Yes!” one minute and “No!” the next.
Then doubt comes along and says “Yes!” one minute and “No!” the next.
It was doubt that made Peter sink in the waves as he was walking to Jesus ().
It was doubt that made Peter sink in the waves as he was walking to Jesus ().
Jesus asked him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Jesus asked him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Many Christians live like corks on the waves: up one minute, down the next; tossed back and forth.
Many Christians live like corks on the waves: up one minute, down the next; tossed back and forth.
This kind of experience is evidence of immaturity.
This kind of experience is evidence of immaturity.
Believe in God’s wisdom, don't be double-minded.
Believe it don't be double-minded!

Take this with you...

Get ready, get serious, life is about to happen to you!
BUcK Up!
Bring the right attitude to your trial
Understand the advantage of the trial
Know where to obtain assistance in the trial
Trials, problems and issues are normal and God has given you two very important tools to overcome them.
1. You know that there is a purpose for them.
2. You have an endless supply of wisdom at your disposal.
Have joy knowing God is accomplishing his will through you.
Have joy knowing God is accomplishing his will through you.
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