Title: Loving God In The Midst of Trials
Text: James 1:2-4, 12-15
[Jas 1:2] My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
[Jas 1:3] knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
[Jas 1:4] But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
[Jas 1:12] Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
[Jas 1:13] Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
[Jas 1:14] But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
[Jas 1:15] Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
- Count it all joy when you fall into various trials
- Life will always be full of ups and downs. However this is relative. Someone’s up is someone else’s down and vice versa.
- You might be going through a trial right now – the Bible say count it all joy
- Why? The only way out of that trial successfully is to love God
- It is the love of God that will push one to never give up, be approved, and receive the crown of life
- In a marital relationship, when everything is rosy, it is easy to love.
- However, when challenges come against the marriage, the love in the marriage is tested.
- Some marriages end with “no money, no honey”
- Some marriages will withstand the test and come out even stronger
- With God, when everything is glorious, it is easy to love God
- However, when some trials show up, your real love for God will come out
- Whether it is “no money, no honey” or you will love God no matter what
- The difference between the two is that
- Some love out of what they get in the relationship
- This is not love, this is a business partnership. Once the contract is over, there is no more love.
- Others love of the relationship
- You must love God because of the relationship
Who is the tempter?
- God is not the one tempting you because God cannot be tempted by evil
- God may permit the temptation but He is not the one tempting – Job 1:6-12, 1 Cor. 4:4
- [Job 1:6] Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
[Job 1:7] And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
[Job 1:8] Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
[Job 1:9] So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
[Job 1:10] Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
[Job 1:11] But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
[Job 1:12] And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
[2Co 4:4] whose minds the god of this age [world] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
The devil is the god of this world. Therefore, he has power over everything in this world
However, God has placed His hedge around us, around our household, around all that we have on every side. He has blessed the work of our hands and cause our possessions to increase in the land.
- In fact, God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle –
- [1Co 10:13] No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
- God will also make a way out of the temptation
- So, if God is not the tempter, it must be the devil and his minions
- As a result, draw closer to God during your trials. Period of trials is the time one is draw closer to God.
- Don’t run away from God. Anyone who runs away from God, will run into the open arms of the devil. Ask the prodigal son.
Purpose of temptation
- There are two purposes for temptation: to elevate and celebrate you (v12) or to kill you (v14-15)
- In other words, it is either to grow your faith or terminate your faith
- Elevation and celebration are for those that overcame the temptation
- Death is for those that succumb to the temptation
- It is the love that you have for God that will keep you going in the midst of storms –
- On the other hand, Samson failed
- [Jdg 16:16] And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death,
[Jdg 16:17] that he told her all his heart, and said to her, “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”
- Samson succumbed to the temptation of Delilah. In the end, he died before his time.
- I decree, every attempt to terminate your destiny shall meet with the blood of Jesus Christ in the name of Jesus.
What are we to do?
- Make up your mind who you will love
[Jos 24:15] And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
- Love God wholeheartedly
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego made up their minds
[Dan 3:17] If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. [Dan 3:18] But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
- Jesus, in the flesh, made up His mind
[Luk 22:42] saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
- The love that God has for you is not for what you can give him. It is an unconditional love.
[Joh 3:16] For God so loved the world [Tolu Makinde]that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We did not do anything to deserve His love
He then promised that when trouble comes, He will still love us. – Is. 43:1-3
[Isa 43:1] But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; Youare Mine.
[Isa 43:2] When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
[Isa 43:3] For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
He will not break His covenant – Ps. 89:34, Jer. 33:19-21
[Psa 89:34] My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.
[Jer 33:19] And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
[Jer 33:20] “Thus says the LORD: ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season,
[Jer 33:21] then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.
Love God when things are great
Love God when trials and tribulations come
Love God for who He is, not for what you can get from Him