Trials, Temptations, and Perseverance Sept 26-30
James was writing to Jews to encourage them to continue growing in their new Christian faith. Recognizing that there is a cost to following Jesus, he begins his letter by addressing the trials that come with the territory, and shares the truth about the temptations that arise in our lives. We will see that God uses the trials in our life to strengthen our faith and trust in Him. And that we need to be proactive and equipped to persevere through the trials and temptations that will come. Our perseverance and patience through trials and suffering comes with rewards.
Day 1 James 1:1-11
Reflect: How would you define trials? What kinds of trials do you think the believing Jews of that day were facing? In trials that test us, how are believers to react? Why?
Apply: From trials, what have you learned about God and yourself? What might be the difference between the faith/character of a believer never exposed to trials and one who had faced many trials and passed the test? How can this help with joy in trials?
Pray: Lord, keep me steady in the trials of life, ready and willing to learn the lesson that You will teach me. Remind me that the testing of my faith develops perseverance as I learn to patiently endure with joyful thanks.
Reflect: What is the difference between trials and temptations? If not from God, where do temptations come from? How do both trials and temptations test us?
Apply: With what temptations are you most often tested? How does this awareness help you battle against them? How can you help others persevere in the midst of trials?
Pray: Jesus, when I experience hardship, help me to persevere, holding fast to the Word of truth and maturing in faith to become a valuable vessel for Your honor and glory.
Day 3 James 5:7-12
Reflect: Why is patience so important in times of trials? In what ways do farmers need to exercise patience? How is Job an example of steadfastness and patience?
Apply: How do you tend to respond to hardship in your life? Fix it? Forget it? Fake it? Why do you think this is? In your life, where do you need patience as described by James?
Pray: Jesus, teach me to respond to hardship on my knees with open hands, ready to receive the precious fruit of Your longsuffering, to embrace it, and then cast it upward in praise to the Father.
Day 4 Matthew 5:10-12
Reflect: Righteousness is about having a right relationship with God, and with others. What is Jesus teaching about righteousness? How does righteousness produce trials?
Apply: When was the last time you were insulted or harassed because of your faith in Jesus? What resulted? If you haven’t been persecuted, why do you think that is?
Pray: Holy God, help me to know that being persecuted for doing what is right is following in the steps of Jesus. Give me the courage and the passion to help lead others to the wonderful discovery of You, Your grace, and Your great reward.
Day 5 1 Corinthians 10:12-14
Reflect: How does this text teach us to deal with temptation? How is idolatry related to temptation? What ways does God provide to help us stand against temptation?
Apply: How has God faithfully provided you with a way out of a temptation? What are the “idols” behind temptations that cause you to fall? How can you overcome them?
Pray: Lord, I want to serve You with wholehearted devotion. Thank You for forgiveness from my past sin. By your grace and through Your Word, strengthen me with Your Holy Spirit to overcome the temptations that Satan uses to separate me from You.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 1: Write about your struggles and temptations—don’t hold back. But then go back to your list the next day and jot some notes in the margins about how, through these trials, God might be making you “mature and complete.” Also, note the joys you experience when you resist temptation.