James #1 – How does faith work when you are in a trial?

In this first sermon from the book of James, Pastor Mark preaches on faith in the midst of trials including finding joy, wisdom, and ultimately God in the middle of your trials.

How does faith work when you are in a trial? James 1:1-8

1742 words (English translation) – read in less than 30 minutes (study guide)

·        Faith Works – turn up temp church folks, BLUE COLLAR SCHOLAR

= ? downside to being Jesus brother ? (spank, argue, WWJD)

Your trial will find you. When it does find 1. God over 2. Joy in 3. Wisdom through


Find God Over Your Trial

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.

1.    To: Jewish XN’s scattered persecution, among 1st NT books Church high % Jewish

2.    From: James

  • Not name drop/flex title
  • Nicknames – A. “James the Just”              B. “Camel Knees”

=James’ trial started bad, ended good 

Mk 3:21,31 [Jesus] family…went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

Mk 6:3-4 Is not this the carpenter…son of Mary & brother of James/Joses/Judas/Simon?..are not his sisters here?”..Jesus said..“A prophet is not without honor..in his hometown & among his relatives..”

Jn 7:5, not even his brothers believed in him.


1 Cor 15:7 Then he [risen Jesus] appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Acts 1:14 1st [XN’s gathering as a church] Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Gal 1:18-19, 2:9 I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas…[&] James the Lord’s brother…when James & Cephas & John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas & me, that we should go to the Gentiles

=Jesus’ in His family (Mary & Joseph, James, Jude, Simon + sisters + John B family)

=Jesus in your family 1:2 “brothers” Mk 3:35 whoever does the will of God…is my brother and sister & mother.”


Find Joy in Your Trial

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

1.    Trials – come UP (“trouble/difficulty”;  “trials/temptations” = “tests” graduate/mature)

2.    Help – come DOWN

What are your trials?

  • global, national, regional, local, others (family, friends)
  • personal – physical, financial, relational, spiritual, mental, emotional

= Complex grief (Jesus #1 compassion)

Trials disrupt our normal life &…

1.    Strip away objects of faith other than God

2.    Reveal our true selves

3.    Reveals others true selves

4.    Remind us what has gone wrong in the world & Who alone can fix it

5.    Reveals our contribution (reap/sow)

6.    Simplifies life & who/what truly matters

How to Fail Your Test

1.    Avoider – past, ignore, deny, minimize, move on, self-medicate (age stop maturing)

2.    Fixer – some things cannot be solved soon, some things cannot be solved this life

3.    Worrier – false prophecy over future

4.    Grinder – cheerless plod forwards (Hebrews “joy set before…endured cross)

5.    Blamer – only/always a victim

6.    Martyr – live under the pressure until it breaks you (“once for all”)

7.    Rebel – excuse bad behavior


How to Pass Your Test

-Rejoice –

  • Trial (outside) Rejoice (inside)
  • Not denial of external reality. Awareness of greater internal reality

1. Jesus suffered for you     2. Become Christlike           3. Graduate   4. Minister to others 5. Rejoice w/others         6. Store up treasures in Heaven = steadfastness


Find Wisdom Through Your Trial 

James 1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Wisdom = theme James

1.     Knowledge is knowing the truth, wisdom is knowing what to do with it.

2.     Knowledge is theoretical, wisdom is practical.

3.     Knowledge fills libraries, wisdom fills lives.

4.     Knowledge is truthful, wisdom is useful.

5.     Knowledge provides information, wisdom provides transformation.

6.     Knowledge tells you what to believe, wisdom tells you how to behave.

7.     Knowledge finds the problem, wisdom finds the solution.

= Our world has more knowledge & less wisdom than ever.

=Online – anger/fear (not joy) = who/what is enemy of the day


Don’t respond to your hardship. Do respond to the Lord over your hardship.

  • running from pain vs running to God
  • unstable vs steadfast

All wisdom comes from the “Spirit of wisdom”

1.    Scripture (book of James is part of Wisdom Literature)

2.    Prayer (“ask God, who gives generously”)

3.    Experience

4.    Wise Counsel (XN counselor, friend, parent, mentor, book, podcast, sermon, James)


My testimony

-Personal trials & lessons learned

  1. Watch for signs you are in the vice
  2. Have a plan for the pain (self-care vs selfish; healthy = helpful)
  3. Find Joy!
  • Driving Vision
  • Hike

Joy & Good News

There is a good God.          God forgives.            God understands.    God helps

“Rejoice in the Lord”  –  NOT

Photo of author

Mark Driscoll

It's all about Jesus! Read More