Faithlife Sermons

James: Faith and Endurance

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This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad.

Greetings!

Faith and Endurance

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Why does James use the word Slave?

What is a slave?

One that does its masters works
Does Not complain
Using the title slave implies total and absolute obedience.
A slave does not know law besides that of his master.
which is interesting because when I think of slaves I don't think of them not knowing what law is. What I do know is they would seek to make the master happy but I never thought about what laws are to them…
For James to use this wording of slave is a very big significance.
using the word slave also implies absolute humility & absolute loyalty where a person has no interest of their own but he does what he does he does for God
“the only greatness of which the Christian can ever Aspire is that of being the slave of God.” - William Barcklay

History and backstory of what what happening to the Jewish believers

When we read scripture we read with context. We look at scripture and ask ourselves, what is happening at this time?
We probably understand that the bible wasn’t written in chronological order! It is divided up into sections. Torah being the law books, Major Prophets, minor Prophects, Poetry books, ect.

This is the time in history where the Christians were heavily persecuted! They were in hiding and others were running for their life!

James says, “consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2
Does it not seem a little uncomfortable to hear James say these things? It almost seems like He is throwing out platitudes that you should be happy you're struggling.
Similar to, you should be happy there is covid. It provides endurance.
I would say that we are facing the same trials. Covid is quite a bit better then that of mass executions of Christians.
Testing and Endurance
“For then you know that when your faith is being tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” -James 3
Running. Insert image of me running
I ran x country and still prefer running.
I remember training. In cross country we are still part of a team.
I had to work hard and every week after training I would limp home. I would be sore that day and the next. I healed really fast back then!
I drove standard and it was rough putting in the clutch to go forward.
Now I’ve slacked a bit with running and I resort to lifting weights.
I wanted to gain muscle mass because I don’t have much fat to lose. Afterward I hurt. Many times I experienced aches and pains.
Rode my bike the other day and i was winded! I couldn’t beleive it! My legs hurt my lungs burned
My endurance was non existence
It is a scientific fact that practice makes perfect. The more we are able to over come something the easier it is to overcome it later. The more you do something the better you will be.
I am not a talented speaker. It isn’t my forte. There are many gifted speakers that I look to and aspire to become.
They have given hundreds of messages. Because they have spoken so much it doesnt matter how terrible they were at the start they mastered the art of preaching.
A dear friend of mine and one person I aspire traits from. Ed Hyatt. He is an extraordinary pastor and a genuine person that people love to be around and he loves people too!
He used to pastor at Swift Current Church (East Side) I spent 3 years there. He told a story about his night service. (Sunday morning and evening was VERY church of God back in the day) He had a rough message. He knew it and one guy came up to him after and just said, “There will be others” *jaw drop*
Thing guy (ed) just prepared a message it wasnt grand but you say that!?
Now, it wasn’t spiteful or condescending but it was his way of encouraging him after a rough message. He wasn’t gonna lie or a term I laughed at watching Top Gun the other day “Now I'm not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your [butt], Lieutenant”)
Now Joel where are you going with this!?

When fail, we get back up again.

I've given some pretty sub par messages. I've also given a strong message and then the pastor preaches a sermon after me.
So there are times where we are going to bomb. There are times where we will feel like trash.
You can probably think of a time where you didn’t get the outcome you wanted.
Maybe you didn't have the experience to you needed or something out of your control and messed up in some way ...
Never mind you all are perfect…. Never made a mistake….. Hahah
I don’t usually consider hardship joy. I hate it, you hate it, we all hate it!
But James tells us something very important. When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. SO LET IT GROW! For when your endurance is fully developed, you will be PERFECT and COMPLETE, needing [lacking] NOTHING”
Both Peter and Matthew have encuragement
Jesus said in Matthew 5:12:
God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way. - Matthew 5:12
This passage as much has it feels like we should be happy and joyful Jesus tells us that the prophets were treated the same way! And be happy about it for our reward awaits us in heaven!
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. - 1Peter 1:6-7

Silver Smiths

I’m not sure about how much you know about forging. I don’t know a ton. I understand some of the basics. I know that Damascus steel is some of the sharpest. They do this by folding it over and over. Pounding it together and just repeating the process. This process also gives a cool look to it!
Now back to Silver.... What they would do is refine silver. They would heat it up and all the scum would rise to the top. Then they skim off the top layer.
Let it cool and repeat the process. Do you notice the repetition in the metal category?
Any way: They repeat this process over and over until when the silver smith is able to look over the silver and see his own reflection in the silver.
Jesus is doing the same thing with us. These trials, these tribulations this is basically God skimming off the scum so that when he looks at us and when others look at us the reflection of Jesus is shining through us.
Peter used reference to gold in the same way. We are tested showing that our faith is genuine.
I talked last week about making disciples. The Great Commission.
This week we are looking at the trials we need to be prepared for. We will have opposition in the great commission. There will be times where these people don’t want to hear the gospel.
This does’t mean give up.
Life itself has its trials. This is a message of encouragement! I know that you all pray and I know that you cast your cares on the lord.
Its so easy for me to forget to give everything to Him. The cares chorus is exactly the reminder that we hold to.
“I cast all my cares upon you / I lay all of my burdens down at your feet / and any time i don’t know what to do / I cast all my cares upon you.”
Let’s continue to fully rely on God and allow Him to continue the good work he has completed in you.
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