Vance Pitman

Finding Joy in Life’s Journey

The Book of James
Jan 10, 2021
James 1:1-4

In this message, Pastor Vance kicks off our study of the New Testament book of James and encourages us that God is at work in every trial we face to grow us in Christ and guide us into abundant living!

Sermon Notes

Finding Joy in Life’s Journey





The Book of James Intro





“When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and his brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they no all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”—Matthew 13:53-56

“When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. ‘He’s out of his mind’, they said.”—Mark 3:21 (NLT)





“For not even His brothers were believing in Him.”—John 7:5





“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James…”—1 Corinthians 15:3-7a





“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” - James 1:1-4





I. THERE ARE THINGS IN LIFE TOTALLY BEYOND OUR CONTROL





What is a trial? The inevitable circumstances that make life hard





Trials are unavoidable—“when you encounter”





Trials are unpredictable





Trials are uncomfortable





Trials: the inevitable circumstances that make life hard!
“When James says to ‘consider it all great joy,’ this is a command, an imperative, and it’s a verb that addresses how we think, which is important. This is not about feeling. Trials don’t necessarily bring a smile to our faces.”—David Platt (Christ-Centered Exposition: James, p.6)



“You are not to consider it as a punishment, a curse, or a calamity, but as a fit subject for celebration.”—Albert Barnes (James to Jude, Logos)




II. WE WORSHIP A GOD WHO IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL






“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive tree should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds feet, and makes me walk on the high places.”—Habakkuk 3:17-19





Life Application:
We cannot let our circumstances shape the way we view our God; we must let our God shape the way we view our circumstances





III. OUR GOD IS AT WORK IN EVERY TRIAL TO GROW US IN CHRIST AND GUIDE US INTO ABUNDANT LIVING
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