The Making of a Diamond - Pt. 2
The Making of a Diamond – Pt.2
PPHC 6-14-06 - James 1:1-6
A diamond is one of the most expensive and precious of gems. Do you know how a diamond is made? It starts with a piece of coal, just like this. How could this piece of coal ever become a diamond? Deep in the earth, extreme pressure and time compresses and makes a diamond. A diamond is the toughest of gems and is just as useful to industry as it is useful and beautiful as jewelry. If we want to become a diamond kind of person, then we must willingly put up with the trials and tribulations that shape and form our character.
I. The Pressure of Suffering
A. The Sources of Our Suffering
- 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”
- 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation…”
We see here two kinds of suffering:
1. Trial Sufferings – allowed by God to bring out the best in us
a. The testing of Abraham (Gen. 22:1-2) “God did tempt Abraham…”
1. Tempt (to prove, or to try)
· The Gold Rush of the 1840’s-50’s (Iron Pyrite – Fool’s Gold – Assayer needed)
· Two ways of testing: 1) By Acid; 2) By Fire
· “Abraham, can you give me your ‘promise’, your ‘destiny’, your ‘legacy’…can you trust me with that? - GOD
b. The trying of the children in the wilderness – Deut. 8:2-3
- “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart…”
1. Brought humility – “to make them totally dependant on God.”
2. “To prove thee” – for a two-fold reason
a. To prove “what they were” - “To know what was in thine heart” (so that they would know what was in their heart) Jer. 17:9 “The heart is deceitful…and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
b. To see what they would do – “To see whether they would keep his commandments or not.”
2. Temptation Sufferings – These come from the devil (using the world / flesh) and are sent to
bring out the worst in us.
a. James 1:14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
1. Note the “method” of sin in its proceedings.
a. First, it draws away, then entices.
1. Drawn away from God by degrees into sin (exalko = to lure away – i.e. the turkey w/a call).
· Bream on a bed grabs the bait out of frustration. (His anger would hook him).
· The turkey attracted by a call.
· Illustration: “The Eighth Time Around” 2
2. Enticed = (deleazo – to bait in order to lure away).
3. “There can be no temptation unless something within us causes a sinful desire.” Peop. Com.
B. The Attributes of Suffering
1. They are often “SUDDEN” – when ye “fall”. (James 1:2)
a. Sometimes unexpected (peripipto – “to light upon” – 3 x used in the NT).
1. Acts 27:41 – Ship hit a sandbar and ran aground…became stuck…and began to break apart
2. The man that fell among thieves – came upon him suddenly. (Luke 10)
2. They are “SURE” - “when” ye fall, not “if” ye fall.
a. We’re all human and are apt to fall –
· Rom. 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
· Amplified – “…all have sinned and are falling short…” (pres. tense – actual time.
· 1 Jn. 1:8 - “If we say that we have (echo – to presently hold in your possession) no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
· Illustration: “In Case I Was Tempted” – “A mother told her son not to go swimming. However, when he came into the house his mother noticed that his hair and bathing suit were wet. "Johnnie," his mother scolded, "I told you not to go swimming." "I couldn’t help it mom," he defended himself. "The water looked so good." "But why did you take your bathing suit with you?"
"In case I was tempted." “ 3
3. They are “SORTED”
a. “Divers” trials – (various) – financial, physical, spiritual, mental, social, emotional, etc…
C. The AIM of Suffering
- God allows sufferings to come into our lives. WHY??
1. Suffering produces endurance – Jms. 1:3,4 (Long distance runner, ¼, ½, 1, and on)
a. Paul endured
1. 2 Tim. 1:8 – “…be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel.”
2. 2 Tim. 2:3 – “…endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
· “He who finds diamonds must grapple in mud and mire because diamonds are not found in polished stones. They are made.” 1
· (NAVY SEALS – Hell Week) wet, cold, sand, sleep-deprivation, mental & physical fatigue; yet at any time they have the option to walk to the shore and ring the bell. But they want to be the BEST in the world. It involves endurance beyond measure.
3. 2 Tim. 2:10 – “…I endure all things for the elect’s sake…”
2. Suffering promises rewards in heaven
a. Jms. 1:12 – “Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
D. The Attitude in Suffering
- How should we respond to trials and tribulations?
1. Jms. 1:2 “My brethren count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”
a. Prosperity is the blessing of the “old covenant” and adversity is the blessing of the new.
1. Temptations should be regarded as not only testing what we are, but designed for moral
discipline and improvement.
b. James says that we should rejoice amid tribulations
1. To the worldly, this is unnatural
· Illustration: “The Stolen Credit Card” – “A man called the police and reported that all of his wife’s credit cards had been stolen. Then he added, “But don’t look too hard for the thief. He’s charging less than my wife ever did.” 4
2. We are to rejoice because He is working all things towards our good, though we may not see
the good in it at the present time.
· Sunsets are so beautiful. But to me, the most beautiful sunsets are those that have the dark clouds as a backdrop. How beautiful the life of that person that has endured to the end…
a. Sometimes, we are too nearsighted…seeing only at close range: we’re not looking at the total
picture…as God does.
b. Jer. 18:3-4 “…He made it again…as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
- “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Tim. 3:12
- “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jn. 16:33
- If we want to become a diamond-kind of person, then we must willingly put up with the trials and tribulations that shape and form our character. There are no shortcuts in the development of Christian character….Time X extreme pressure = A Diamond.
2 Brian La Croix, SermonCentral.com
3 Steve Malone, SermonCentral.com
4 SermonCentral.com, Bible.org