We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Week 1 - Day 4

Review James 1:2-4.

1. James says that endurance is a positive result of trials for the believer; however it is not the final result. What is the result of endurance, according to v.4?

Dr. Hiebert says that the term for perfect “does not imply absolute perfection, but rather the ethical character of the mature believer.”

I think that all of us who desire to be all that God wants us to be want to get to that point that he describes, but the way there is difficult. We prefer to run.

2. Consider others whom you admire as “mature believers.” What do you know about their lives and the trials they have endured? If possible, talk to one of them and ask how God has brought them to this place of maturity and trust of Him. Ask about their experiences and feelings. Without sharing names with your small group, share what you learned about the place of trials in the person’s maturation process.

3. Compare 1 Peter 1:3-7 with James 1:2-4.

4. Let’s look at some biblical figures who endured very difficult trials. Compare their stories to what James says about trials in 1:2-4.
-a. Joseph—His story is long but read these verses at least: Gen. 37:23-24, 26-28; 39:11-20; 45:3-8
-b. David—again, a long story! Read 1 Sam. 18:6-12; 20:32-33; 24:1-15; 26:5-11.
-c. Paul—can’t read everything he says either. Read 2 Cor. 6:4-10; Phil. 1:12-26; 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 4:14-17.

5. Sharing Question: What has God said to you from these stories about a trial with which you are dealing? What do you need to do about what you have learned?

6. Responding to God: Spend time praising God for the positives that He brings out of trials. Pray for the ability to have His perspective on your particular trial right now.

7. Stronger Jeans (optional): The book of James seems to involve many loosely related topics. As best you can, choose themes for each chapter and an overall theme of the book. If you know how to put it in a book chart, you may want to do that. This will be your optional assignment for the entire week.


Twisting His Arm said...

First off, reading these stories has made me feel extremely BLESSED!!! It is hard for me to even look at my trials as true trials because so many people have suffered and are suffering greater tragedies. But I can't forget that God has already told me not to question situations in my life; the trials or the blessings.

My main trial now is living away from my church and family. I have been praying for a couple months regarding my church situation. I attend BAF at least twice a month and was attending another church in McAllen the other times. Pastor Bil recently preached against this so me and the hubby stopped attending church in McAllen and now watch Pastor Bil on the net when we are not in Corpus. However, this is not a permanent solution so I started praying even harder. I prayed for an answer; should I continue attending BAF or stop attending and find a church in McAllen. I told God I would accept either answer but really want to move back to Corpus. I found out this week that we will hopefully (prayfully) be moving back to Corpus in the near future!!! God is so GOOD!!! :-) Christina

DA Wagners said...

We are so praying for you guys, Crissy. I pray that God brings you home! I couldn't read all the stories, but I did read about Paul. What struck me as the most painful thing of his trials is being secluded from all other Christians. That would be hard for me. I really lean on my Christian family and friends for support, and I would find is so difficult to stand alone. Paul even witnessed to those in the prision. He really had to be a shining light in the darkness. He was also abandoned by all his family and friends. That would tear me apart.

A trial I'm struggling w/ is trying to write. It is so easy to do everything else but write. I just need to remember that it's a privilege that God would ask me to write - that should be motivation enough. My sister, Crissy, and my husband also motivate me. The thought that a woman would come up to me in the future and tell me that my writing helped her also motivates me. This Bible study also motivated me. I was not going to write tonight, but now I'm going to write right after I click "publish your comment." If Paul can write from jail, I can write from the comfort of my own home while my boys are down for the night!

Anonymous said...

The one thing I have noticed about Christians who have a close relationship with God is that they have been through some tough trials. Reading about the lives of these men just verifies to me that if you truely want to have a close relationship with God you need the trials. During those times you have no one to lean on but Him. Since starting this Bible Study I am seeing my trials in a new way. Even though I am not sure about the future I know that God will be there and will walk or carry me through whatever I go through. I am not quite at the point of being joyful about the trials but I hope that will come in time. We watched "Facing the Giants" tonight. I just went to Blockbuster and saw this movie and decided to rent it. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. God used this movie to let me know that He is there and that He does love me. I just need to be faithful to Him and Praise Him in good times and bad.

DA Wagners said...

Carol, I Love Facing the Giants. I love the fact that Christian movies are putting their stamp out there with so many movies that chip away our power in Christ! I own it; I'm going to try to watch it again -- it's so empowering! Isn't it so cool that God led you to that video?!

Canadian Bird said...

In reading about Joseph, David, & Paul, I felt like my trials are so small & not even a blip on the map in comparison. If they could go through people wanting them dead, or complete & total loneliness (I feel that I'm there sometimes) & continue to look to God & praise Him & rely solely on Him, I should have no problem turning to God during my tests. But Crissy's right. We are not to question the situations in our lives, & we are not to compare our trials to anyone elses. They are OURS...God allowed them for a purpose. We are to learn something to get us ready for something great that God has for us! Push on... (Phil. 3:14)

Anonymous said...

When we go through out trials, we must remember that they are customize for us/you in your walk. When we look at others trial, they are custimized for them in their walk. Therefore, no need to compare. We don't know where they are at in their walk with the Lord and they don't know where we are at our walk.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but to think of a line from a song, "...refiners fire, my heart's one desire is to be holy, set apart for you my master, ready to do your will..."

Latoya said...

In all things rejoice, is what I get out of the passages. To many times I have let others keep me from rejoicing. For they cannot take my joy away from me. My God will endure forever and my joy and strength is in Him. How great is that?