Welcome to our first bible study!
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Head over to the Bible Study tab to read the next four parts to this study!
The book of James is sort of like the Christian handbook. James doesn’t really talk about how to become a Christian, but he tells us how Christians should behave. He touches on things like perseverance, faith, discrimination, submission, and self-control.
- Perseverance through Trials and Tribulations
- James starts the first chapter telling us to “consider it pure joy” whenever we face trials and tribulations. Earlier I said that this is like a handbook for Christians and isn’t it interesting that the first thing James talks about is trials? You don’t automatically get rid of storms and breakdowns when you accept Christ in your life. Christianity is not all peaches and cream and often times the storms get a little bit tougher when the enemy sees that you are trying to do right.
- When I first read this chapter, I questioned how I can have joy when going through the storm, but when you continue to read you discover that James is not telling us to find joy in the actual trials, but rather to have joy in the results that the trials and tribulations produce. He says that the trials will test your faith and that will produce perseverance.
- To persevere is to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty with little or no prospect of success.
- Perseverance leads to maturation and completion. When you persevere, you will be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
- Takeaway: Trials in our lives test our faith and produce perseverance which allows us to go through other storms and bad situations and know that even though it doesn’t look like you’re going to come out on the other side, or it doesn’t seem like you can be victorious, you know that you can and you will.
- Birth of Sin
- In verses 13-15, James talks about temptation and the birth of sin.
- He tells us that God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt us. If you ever feel tempted it is your own desire to sin and we have to learn to call on God in this moment. Often times we are not strong enough to resist the desire on our own. If we give in to our desire, it gives birth to sin, and sin gives birth to death. Of course, this does not usually mean physical death, but it can mean death in your relationships, death in your finances, or death in your health.
- Takeaway: Ask God to help you resist the desire of sin and to free you from temptation.
- Listening and Doing
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. This is pretty straightforward. James tell us that human anger does not lead to righteousness and Proverbs 12:28 says that, “In the path of righteousness is life and in its pathway there is no death.”
- James also tells us not to be merely hearers of the word, but to also be doers of the word. We can’t get by simply knowing what the Bible says. We have to apply it to our lives and do what it says. James says that hearing the word but not doing it or applying it will cause us to forget what we have heard.
- Takeaway: When you read and study the word of God, do so knowing that you need to apply what you read to your life. We have to practice turning the words into actions. We can start by doing things like loving our neighbors as ourselves, honoring our fathers and mothers, etc.
- Do not be afraid when going through trials or tribulations. Instead, be glad because you know that at the end you will have perseverance and lack nothing.
- Remember that sin is birthed from temptation and ultimately leads to death.
- We must be doers of the word and not just hearers. If we do, we will be blessed in all that we do.
- Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today thanking you for the opportunity to hear from you. We know now that we should be joyful when going through difficult situations because it will result in the strengthening of our faith and it will produce perseverance. We thank you for perseverance Lord! We know that even though our situations don’t look too good right now that all we have to do is keep pushing and keep believing and you will bring us through. We ask that you give us the strength and the heart to resist temptation because no good comes from it. We ask this in your son Jesus’ name. Amen!
- Discussion (leave a comment below answering these questions):
- Can you recall a time in your life when your perseverance in a trial resulted in you being rewarded?
- What can you do to avoid being tempted by evil desires and sin?
I’m so glad that you decided to join me in studying the book of James. I hope that you have taken something from this, and I hope that you come back to study chapter two with me tomorrow!