James #2 – How does faith work when you are tempted?

In this sermon from James 1:9-18, Pastor Mark preaches on how joy comes from God more than it comes from circumstances of our lives, our stuff, or our sin.

How does faith work when you are tempted? James 1:9-18

Ask for Wisdom Jm. 1:5

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

Section Theme: Jm 1:14 each person is tempted when he is lured & enticed by his own desire.

= 1. Trials outside you trigger 2. Temptations inside you

Brain Science  -Trials outside trigger anxiety in the mind that signal the brain

“a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease typically about an imminent event (present) or uncertain outcome (future)”

  • 1. health 2. safety 3. politics 4. relationships – most common categories

Fearful Brain seeks 1. Info 2. Control (excessive planning)

1. We never have all info                    2. Alerts                       3. More info = more anxiety

4. Much info is wrong (fake news 6x faster “clickbait”)          5. “social contagion” – 24/7

Body: edgy, restless, tired concentration, irritability, muscle aches, trouble sleeping = Tea Kettle

= Dopamine -comfort/pleasure/relief/distraction – food, drugs alcohol, sex, shop, online, vid games

James: Trial outside triggers temptation inside for    1. Stuff             2. Sin              


Joy ain’t found in your stuff.

James 1:9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

1.    Rich & Poor – very subjective categories when we think globally & historically

2.    Your net worth is not your self-worth (we count outside, God counts inside)

3.    Prosperity vs Poverty both believe joy is tied to stuff

4.    Wealth & beauty get buried with you (quotes Isaiah 40:6b-8 Word endures forever)

5.    Social media – discontent & coveting (text v images)

·         Conspicuous Consumption – buy identity

·         Competitive Consumption – Tech

1. Godly Poor

2. Godly Rich

3. Ungodly Poor

4. Ungodly Rich

2 Cultural Categories

Marx – Rich Oppressor & Poor Oppressed = class war

  • Conservatives think 2 &3
  • Liberals think 1 & 4

4 Biblical Categories (James is 1 & 2 or 4 commentators divided)

Church – a new community of all levels of economic & social status

1. Godly Poor: Jesus family (“lowly brother in his exaltation”)

2. Godly Rich: Abraham, Joseph

3. Ungodly Poor: Proverbs

4. Ungodly Rich: Pharaoh/Neb/Herod, Rich Young Ruler

Jesus?: 2 Cor 8:9 our Lord Jesus Christ…though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

  • Your family? You?

Generational $ – 1. marry then kids 2. work as worship 3. tithe 4. avoid addiction 5. stay married

TRIALS – 1. often are about $ 2. or drain our $ 3. cause impulse spending (tech)

= Buyers Remose                                      =Deathbed: we want our people, not our things


Joy ain’t found in your sin.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

FAIL test

  • Surrender to sin
  • Blame God (started w/Adam)

= LIE: God is not good, sin is not bad

Sin 1. defies God & 2. damages me

PASS test 

·         Temptation is not sin but test (Jesus was H.I.T.)

·         Choose Spirit’s NOT flesh desires “steadfast” “love Him” (“desire” often w/”flesh”)

#1. Sports –  “crown of life” – trophy, medal, ring       COUNTERFEIT PRIZE NOW

#2. Fishing – “lured” is bait/hook  –                              COUNTERFEIT DEMONS

#3. Motherhood – “conceived” & “gives birth”             COUNTERFEIT MARRIAGE LIFE/DEATH

= “Blessed” – 1. Stuff           2. Sin              3. Spirit

  • God blesses obedience to His Word!! 2. God blesses a place NOT a person.

= Mary: angel “blessed among women” – nearly divorced, reputation destroyed, sons die

-Blessings wrapped in trial: crucifixion, cancer, divorce, unemployment

-Faith sees something ugly will make life beautiful, something painful will heal us, that something that destroys us delivers us, that the worst around us does the best work in us.


Joy comes down from God more than it comes up from life.

James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1. What’s my trial trigger?                           2. What stuff & sin temptation do I choose?

= Brain Science: Rehardwire your brain with new neural pathways & dopamine responses

From worry to worship.           From fear to faith.       From flesh to Spirit.    “Take Off/Put On”

  1. You are discerning not deceived.
  2. You have the truth for your trial.
  3. You are beloved not a burden.
  4. Your Father gives gifts in your trial (2 train tracks)
  5. You are experiencing the firstfruits, not the fullness.

Gifts Come Down

1. Non XN – trials & temptations = failed tests. Jesus came down to forgive & change

2. XN – HS comes down to anoint & bless you

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Mark Driscoll

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