This was from Sunday morning at church, if you trust my note-taking. Started a series on the Book of James.
Remember that James, the half-brother of Jesus, grew up with Jesus but was an unbeliever until Christ came to him after his resurrection. Then James because the pastor of the first church in Jerusalem. In his day, he was probably more widely known and respected than Peter and Paul and some other early spreaders of the Gospel. Tradition says that James was killed by local Pharisees who threw him off the top of the temple and, when that didn't kill him all the way, stoned him. James was the real deal. His nickname was "Ol' Camel Knees" because he prayed so much he wore calluses and blisters on his knees.
When you think about it, most of those guys had to have had nicknames, just like we do. There are not a lot of funny passages in the Bible, I mean pure comedy, but someday I'm sure those blanks will be filled in. I think about the fellas looking for James, to go eat or something...
"Anyone seen Knees? Let's go eat!"
"He's probably in there praying."
"Well go get him. James! Knees! Let's go! God will be there when you get back. I'm hungry...hey, wait a minute ... who took my sandals? Who stole my .... Knees!? Give me back my sandals. I know you took ...."
That wasn't part of Sunday's sermon, but I'm just saying....you know if they cried together and served and suffered together, they must have laughed a lot and enjoyed each other too. Same as today.
OK. Here we go...
Making Some Sense Out of Your Pain and Problems
James 1: 1-4
* There will be tribulations in life.
* You will have "trials" of many kinds, and the word "trials" back then alluded to "multi-colored" or "many-faceted," so James was saying that we'll have all SORTS of stuff, multi-layered and odd problems as well as ordinary ones.
* This might have been the first New Testament book written. If that's the case, the first thing the NT tells us is that "Life is difficult. You're going to have problems. It's part of life."
Problems come as:
* attacks from Satan
* trials we place on ourselves
* others putting sins and mistakes on us
* just part of life
* God is trying to do some great things through your pain (Romans 8:28)
* Satan tries to break you; God tries to "make" you.
3 Things God May Be Trying To Do Through Your Pain
1. Turn you to Him
2. Turn you BACK to him, through the pressure/trials
3. Mature you into Christ's likeness (Verse 4; be perfect/mature and complete) Be "grown up"
1 John 2:6 ... "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ... "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
* Broken-world people often become the most tender and sweetest, kindest and most compassionate people because they have experienced broken-world pain.
*What's God trying to say to me today, through my problems?
* What am I going to do about it?