"Trials and Wisdom" Pastor Roger Thompson / James 1:1-12
on June 20, 2020
Sermon Discussion Questions:
What trials may we expect James' audience to be going through? In what ways can we relate to them?
What does James mean when he says “all joy?” In the midst of great loss, how can we have all joy? What does it look like?
In life we will all experience various kinds of trials that stretch and test our faith. What are some of those trials for you? How does Hebrews 4:15-16 and Hebrews 12:1-2 inform and encourage us in how to respond to them?
What does James mean when he says trials bring completeness so you lack nothing? How does God bring “completeness” from great loss in trials?
How have trials refined you? How have they wrecked you? Does God cause or allow trials? Would God cause suffering through trials for the greater good?
Are verses 5-6 “God’s sinister fine print” that gets God out of fulfilling His promises to His Children? Is God restrained in His actions based on our faith or doubt?
Does James really mean that if we have doubt, God will not hear me? Does God not hear those struggling in faith? Do we have to conjure up perfect faith before we are allowed to approach God? Can God use our doubt to build our faith? How can doubt be a form of “testing of your faith” in which we ought to have “all joy?”
What is double-mindedness? Is it possible to live without doubt? Can we have faith while we doubt? Does God refuse to act or hear us when we are worried about an outcome?
To what kind of doubt is James is referring? Doubt in the Character of God or doubt in the plans of God?
Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” What does fear have to do with wisdom?
Putting into Practice: The Balance of Trials and Wisdom
We are facing many trials today (pandemic, racial tensions, policing issues, upcoming political races, etc). How can wisdom gained from our previous trials be applied in the trials we face today? What can the Church do to fight racial discrimination? What does this have to do with the mission of the Church?
Does understanding “faith” as “trust” help bring clarity to how to live this passage out? What is the difference between “trusting some One” rather than adherence to a “doctrinal statement?”