Dr. Conway Edwards, Lead Pastor

Bible References: James 1:1-8

When tension builds, character is built.  The book of James offers us a step-by-step guide on how to handle problems when they show up in our lives through our faith.  These five chapters provide important guidance for achieving God’s purpose.

  • James Chapter 1 = Trials…problems that “test” our faith
  • James Chapter 2 = Favoritism…dangers of personal bias and faith without works
  • James Chapter 3 = Tongue…taming our “pink tornado” and seeking God’s wisdom
  • James Chapter 4 = Conflict…problems with “worldly standards” vs. living by God’s standard
  • James Chapter 5 = Money…materialism vs. stewardship

We are reminded that trials will come.  They come in varied sizes, level of intensity, and length of time to endure.  By asking God for wisdom and seeking understanding about what He is working in our lives we will continue to grow.  Our relationship with God will continue to be fortified by our faith in Him.  Resist the desire to ask God, “why” He’s created this trial. Our doubts expose wavering faith; that is the attribute of a “double minded” person.  Our response to trials demonstrates our faith.  Trying to remove the trial merely prolongs the life lesson God has for us.  Understand that:

1. Trials are inevitable

2. Trials are unpredictable

3. Trials are varied (e.g. in intensity, length of time, size)

4. Trials are purposeful (God provides the experience that will mature our faith)

Trials are meant to accomplish three things:

1. Purify our faith…trust that God is up to something great

2. Fortify our patience…God desires a mature body of believers

3. Sanctify our character…God wants perfection and completeness in all His parts

Use these discussion questions with your friends and family as you work together to fortify your understanding and application of the book of James:

  • Practically, how can we never waver in faith that our prayers will be answered? (Consider the difference between God answering prayer and Him hearing prayer)
  • What is meant by –  “praying in faith”? (Consider what happens when we are “double minded”)
  • Share three practical ways in which you are going to follow the guidance in James 1:1-8