James 1:1-6, 12
Godís Chill Pill

Do you ever just need God? I mean, do people ever get to you? Do
situations ever get too much? Do problems ever seem to get out of
hand? Do you ever seem to lose control?  When some are in that kind
of condition, people say they need a "chill pill."  Tonight, let me
speak to you about God's Chill Pill.

James gave us Godís prescription for a time like that.  Letís see
some thoughts from the text.

I. The situation with which James dealt.
    A. There is a lot we do not know about the book of James.
    B. In fact, we are not even certain which James wrote it.
        1. There are five mentioned in the New Testament.
        2. Most believe this is the half-brother of Jesus, one of
            the half-brothers who rejected Jesus as Messiah until
            after He arose from the grave, one who actually attempted
            to get Jesus to go into the city, announce who He claimed
            to be, and get Himself arrested and stoned.
            \\#John 7:1-5\\
    C. The book of James is thought by some to one of the earliest
        books written of the New Testament, maybe as early as 45-47 AD,
        just 10 years after Jesus was crucified.
    D. Persecutions of the Jewish Christians was going on.
        1. \\#1\\ James was writing to the Jews scattered.
        2. \\#2\\ They were going through different temptations.
            a. Such persecutions had been on-going since the church
                was birthed and are recorded in Acts.
            b. Still, they had not been around so long that people
                should have considered them normal.
            c. These trials might have been common but they were not
                normal.
            d. These people were going through some times that were
                different.
        3. \\#3\\ Their faith was being tried.  That is a reference
            to their persecutions for their faith.
    E. I point that out to say this, "If what James was writing would
        work for these people with their trials, it should surely
        work with us in our trials.

II. Notice the prescription.  It had five parts.
    A. \\#2\\ CONSIDER THIS:

James 1:2  My brethren, count it all joy when ye
fall into divers temptations;

        1. The word "count" means to consider or to reckon this to be
            so.
        2. What does James tell us to consider?  He tells us to
            consider these trials to be joyful.
            a. I have preached this text many times over the years
                and I still cannot speak on this verse without a bit
                of surprise and amazement.
                (1) Iíve got problems, situations, aggravationsóand
                     the Bible wants me to be happy about it.
                (2) Why would I do that?
            b. First, why not?
                (1) I would not count my temptations joyful because
                     they are unimportant.
                     a. They are important.
                     b. They are important to me and they are
                         important to God.
                (2) I would not count my temptations joyful because
                     they do not matter.
                     a. They do matter and how I respond to them
                         matters.
                     b. Some want to pretend that if they give in to
                         wrong or evil, it does not matter.
                (3) I would not count my temptations joyful because
                     dealing with them is easy.
                     a. Even following Godís prescription,
                         overcoming temptations is never easy.
                     b. If overcoming them was easy, they would not
                         be real temptations.
            c. Then why rejoice?  I gave you three reasons not to so
                let me give you three reasons to do so.
                (1) Because God has not forgotten me.
                     a. God never forgets us but I think we are even
                         more on His mind when we are being tempted.
                     b. Psalm 89:33

Psalm 89:33  Nevertheless my lovingkindness will
I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my
faithfulness to fail.

                (2) Because every temptation has a victory.

1Cor 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you
but such as is common to man: but God is
faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able; but will with the
temptation also make a way to escape, that ye
may be able to bear it.

                     a. There is a way out of every temptation and a
                         victory over every trial.
                     b. Even if I have failed this temptation 1000
                         times before, God can give me the victory
                         this time.
                (3) Because every trial performs a work.  That takes
                     us to the second part of the prescription.
    A. \\#2\\ Consider this:
    B. \\#3\\ KNOW THIS:

James 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your
faith worketh patience.

        1. James specifically tells us that our trials work, do,
            accomplish something in our lives.
            a. Trials are not exercises in futility.
            b. They are not frustration without a purpose.
            c. They are not Godís punishments for failure.
            d. They are not just tests of our endurance.
            e. They are there to work on us, to grow us, to change us
                in one or more areas.
            f. James lists one area our trials work on but he did not
                say that was the only area that our trials work on.
        2. The area James says our trials work on is our patience.
            a. Trials give us patience.
            b. Patience comes from two means:
                (1) God can give them to you directly.  He did not
                     give me a lot of them.
                (2) Or God can grow them through trials.  Guess how I
                     got what little I have.
            c. So all of our trials are doing something for us.
                (1) They are gifting us with patienceóthat is of
                     course if you let them.
                (2) Otherwise they are exploding you with frustration
                     and anger.
            d. Patience is not, however, the end of what trials
                produce.
                (1) They are but the first step.
                (2) James also tells us what trialsí last step of
                     production is.

James 1:4  But let patience have her perfect
work, that ye may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing.

                (3) It is our perfection.
                (4) Interesting play on words: Patienceís perfect
                     work is to perfect us.
            e. Someone would ask, "How does patience make us
                perfect?"
                (1) Patience is the first and the most oft used
                     character quality in the process of producing a
                     godly character.
                (2) You cannot love, be meek, be kind, be faithful,
                     be forgiving, be loyal, persevere, or develop
                     any of the other godly character qualities if
                     you cannot first be patient.
                (3) That will make patience the first needed and the
                     most often used godly character quality.
        3. So know that your trials are doing a good work in you.
    A. \\#2\\ Consider this:
    B. \\#3\\ Know this:
    C. \\#5\\ REQUEST THIS:

James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask
of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and
upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

        1. Godís prescription for tough times requires that you get
            more wisdom.
            a. That is logical.
            b. Wisdom is the ability to see things (our trials) as
                God sees them.
            c. God is telling us to rejoice because they are an
                opportunity to become a better Christian.
            d. It will take God giving us the ability to see that
                from His perspective to do that.
        2. James does not tell us the many ways that wisdom can help
            us, but he does assure us that if we ask for it, God will
            give it.
            a. He tells us that God does not upbraid us when we ask
                for it.
            b. That is God does not taunt us, mock us, provoke us,
                aggravate us for it.
            c. God just gives it.
            d. In fact, of all the blessings that we ask God for,
                wisdom seems to be the one over which God has
                promised and immediate and unobstructed answer.
    A. \\#2\\ Consider this:
    B. \\#3\\ Know this:
    C. \\#5\\ Request this:
    D. \\#6\\ BELIEVE THIS:
        1. James did not introduce something new that needed to be
            believed.
        2. He was saying believe that if you ask God for wisdom, God
            will give it to you.
            a. \\#8-11\\ James moved on to tell us that a person who
                will not believe will not receive from GodÖ.
            b. That he is a double-minded or unstable person in the
                faithÖ.
            c. That one of the greatest privileges that even the most
                lowly Christian hasóeven over the richóis to be
                able to petition God for wisdom and to receive it.
        3. All to emphasize that you and I need and can get wisdom
            to overcome any and every temptation we have!
        4. It makes it seem that we would be a foolish person not to
            request and believe that God will give us wisdom.
        5. These four steps in Godís prescription takes us to Godís
            intended destination:
    A. \\#2\\ Consider this:
    B. \\#3\\ Know this:
    C. \\#5\\ Request this:
    D. \\#6\\ Believe this:
    E. \\#12\\ BE THIS: Blessed!

James 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth
temptation: for when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath
promised to them that love him.

        1. Even when life is tough and temptations and trials are
            daunting, God wants His people to be blessed.
            a. Blessed means to be happy, approved, to live in a
                state of godly privilege.
            b. There is much talk of privilege today.  Blessed is a
                state of privilege granted by God which no Christian
                needs to feel guilty about for everyone is invited
                to have it.
        2. In this context, being blessed means three things:
            a. You endured and over the temptation.
            b. You have earned the crown of life.
                (1) If it is a literal crown, you will have something
                     to lay at His feet.
                (2) If it is symbolic of a rank or place of service
                     then you will have a position to serve God for
                     all eternity.
                (3) If it is both, you have a win-win situation.
            c. You will have demonstrated your love for Jesus.
                (1) We are not trying to live the victorious life
                     JUST for what it can do for us.
                (2) We are also trying to live the victorious life
                     to demonstrate to Him our love.

I do not like to call sin a sickness because if it is, it is a
sickness that many choose to have; but there are some ways that sin
and sickness are alike.  One is that the afflicted can do very little
to help himself.  He needs a Healer.  When we are having one of those
days, we need God.  Godís prescription may be just the medicine God
would give.

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