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Finding Joy In Trials

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Greg Cline


“Finding Joy In Trials”

James 1:2-4

Thesis: The believer is to find joy in the trials from God because it works endurance in us and will make us a mature Christian.


The only survivor of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean was washed onto the shore of a deserted island.  He prayed every day for God to send a ship to rescue him, but a ship never came.  He eventually managed to build a hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements and to store his few possessions. 

One day, while coming back from searching for food, he found his hut on fire and the smoke rolling up to the sky.  This was more than he could take.  Completely dismayed with grief, he questioned God on why he would take away his only comfort on the island.  But the next day, he woke to the sound of a ship coming to shore to rescue him. 

“How did you know I was here?” He asked in wonder.

“We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

 Sometimes, we don’t always know why God brings trials into our life, but we need to continue to trust him through it.


Temptation: Temptation here is more literally translated as “testing”.  Satan can use temptation to bring us down; get us to sin.  But God uses testing to build us up, to teach us, and that is what we’re talking about today.

I.    Response to Trials (v.2

    A. Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.”

    B. (Quote by Anne Judson: “God is the same when He afflicts as when He is merciful; just as worthy of our complete trust and confidence.”)

    C. Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:23-25)

    D. Paul with a thorn in the flesh (II Corinthians 12:8-10)

II.   Reason for Trials (v.3)                                       (example of American Airlines flight Simulators)

     A. Patience- hupomeno: to abide under (endurance)

     B. When God tests our faith, it is to build endurance

      III.   Results of Trials (v.4)

A.    Perfect- complete/mature

B.     Paul found contentment with where he was at (wanting nothing)

C.     The result of building endurance is it builds maturity in a Christian

Like the man on the beach, sometimes some tragedy or circumstance will happen, and we don’t know why God does it.  But God might be working in it to teach us something; it might even be that very circumstance that makes things better for us in the end.  Whatever trials come into our lives, our response should always be to find joy in it; the reason will be to build endurance and patience in us; and the result will be to make us more like Christ and to be a more mature Christian.

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