As I have reflected over the events of the past few days and months I was drawn to the first chapter of James. In the first 13 verses we are given some understanding of the purpose of trials that come our way.
So this passage speaks to us to help us in our time of trial when we need understanding and comfort. And yet in a real way I have also thought that the life of our friend and loved one actually was a living example of this passage:
So for a few minutes, think with me as we look into God's Word. (Read verses 2-4) The Lord would first of all have us know that there is. . .
1. When difficult times come into our lives and we find ourselves unable to comprehend/to understand; the enemy is quick to throw doubts/questions into our minds.
2. We find ourselves questioning God's goodness/God's wisdom in allowing these things to happen.
3. We may even be bitter and angry with God for allowing this to happen to us and wonder if He really understands.
4. But God's word confidently reminds us that God does understand . . .
5. God is in control and as Paul reminds us no one or nothing can separate us from God's love. Rom. 8--even the most difficult of circumstances.
6. James reminds us that God wants us to trust Him in the trials of life.
7. Isaiah the prophet said in trying to comprehend God's ways: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9)
8. God would have us trust Him in the difficult trials:
9. Trust Him! Keep your eyes on Him! And God will use even this trial for His glory.
10. But James goes on to tell us that not only does Gold have purpose in trials--but also that God gives wisdom in trials.
(Read verses 5 and 6)
1. James recognizes that we may not always be able to see the purpose in trials or see the good that can come from trials.
2. When we find ourselves unable to see the good and the purpose in trials we are to:
3. Then James illustrates and says:
4. God has been very good to us in allowing us to see the good even in this difficult trial.
5. Yet in the days to come we will continue to need wisdom to see the purpose and the good in this trial.
(But finally James reminds us that not only does God have a purpose in trials; and gives wisdom in trials but thirdly there is comfort in trials.)
(Read verse 12)
1. James here reminds us that this life is not all there is to life.
2. We often live as if we are the living on the way to the dying.
3. But God's word makes it very clear that we are the dying on the way to the living.
4. What is in store then for one who knows Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and passes from this life?
5. So today we sorrow - but we sorrow not as others who have no hope.
6. But I cannot help but think that perhaps some of you are not prepared to face death and you are not prepared to meet Jesus Christ face to face. Nor are you ready to face a trial like (Name) has faced with peace in your heart.
7. I invite you right where you are sitting to invite Christ into your life as your Savior from sin.
James (The Holy Spirit of God) in the quietness of this hour reminds us that . . .
l. There is purpose in trials:
2. God has and will give us wisdom to see the purpose and the good in this trial--As we ask in faith.
3. And there is comfort in knowing that this life is not all there is--that absent from the body means present with the Lord.
4. These truths were demonstrated before us in the life of (Name). (Name) faith in Christ enabled her to face her trial with the peace that passes understanding. Phil. 4:7
5. And I trust that now as her family as her family and friends we may lay hold of the same Savior and the same truths from God's word to enable us to bear this trial together.