Oct 7, 2018 – Steadfastness
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: James – Distilling Faith
James 1:1-4 (ESV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Steadfastness (endurance, perseverance, patience, stability) is necessary.
I) Why we need it
- v1 “the twelve tribes in the dispersion”
- “a servant… of the Lord”
II) Where it comes from
- v3 “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”
- “count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds”
III) What it does
- v4 “let steadfastness have its full effect” – perfect, complete, lacking nothing
Questions for Reflection
- Do you ever find trials/challenges/difficulties a source of joy? If so, when? What kinds of challenges do you recognize as of value, and what kinds of challenges do you hate/resent/avoid?
- What kinds of challenges do you face day to day? On a typical day, how would you rate the intensity of the challenges you face, on a scale of 0-10? In the last five years, what kinds of challenges did you face that would rank above 6? Are you facing any challenges in the future that rank above 6?
- What are the sources of your daily trials?
- How do you understand the role that trials play in your life? Do you have one understanding that applies to every challenge? If not, what are some of the ways you understand different trials?
- How can understanding that steadfastness is desirable help give you motivation to face any particular challenge?
- What do you fear will be exposed when you face challenges? What do you fear losing?
- What are your core convictions? What do you believe, that you want to consistently drive you in life?
- Where do you see steadfastness in Jesus? What events, actions, teachings, etc. demonstrate this quality in him?
- How is the steadfastness of Jesus a help for you?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in heaven, your goodness does not change. Our world is constantly changing, and we confess we easily get shifted around. We lack conviction and integrity. We are stubborn where we should be flexible, and we compromise when we should stand firm. We are slow to learn. We fail to trust you, and we don’t act with confidence that your ways are indeed the right ways. Forgive our problematic beliefs, our doubt, and our failure to behave consistently with our good beliefs. Thank you for your grace, and for the work you do in us even as we are in need of maturing. Amen.