04/26/15 Wind Me Up!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Sunday, April 26, 2015 Under: Sermon
Life is a Test Series (James 1:2-4)

Intro: God often gives me the strangest things to ponder on when I sit down to work on a sermon. The strange thing He allowed me to put to thought this week comes from the toy store. I recall in a distant past walking into a toy store as I was walking through a mall; and the first thing I notice was a few of these windup toys in a wood box up on a stand, elevated enough that little kids couldn’t easily steal the toy. I noticed after you would wind up one of these toys and place it back in the box where it has the running room, it would do actually that. The toy would move from one corner to the other, depending on what the toy could do. This toy might be able to flip upside down and turns itself over and go again. It might be designed in such a way that there is no upside or downside. Nothing can stop this toy but the boundaries’ it is trapped in.

The Christian cannot physically flip upside down and abuse their self in such the way as a toy does; however, there are many Christians who have felt physically thrown around. The trails of life vary from person to person, but in the reality of things when you hit that wall you turn around or go through it and scripture reminds us: “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” With a relationship with Christ nothing can stop you from experiencing a real joy except the boundaries you place to trap you! Maybe it is time you allow Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit to wind you up, and live for Him.

Text: James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

1. The Fact: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” We will have many trials and temptations.

The fact is: “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

The fact is certain—we will have many trials and temptations. We will be tested, we will be tried and we will be proved (showed). Temptations and trials of life are to prove us: they are for a beneficial purpose; they are permitted by God for a good purpose. What is that purpose? To make us stronger and more pure, when we conquer temptation, we become a much more pure person—more holy, righteous, and just. When we triumphantly go through the trials of life, we become a much stronger person, more steadfast, enduring, and persevering, when we stand up against trials and temptations, we become a witness to all those who see us. We demonstrate the living presence and power of Christ that He actually does live in our hearts and lives and is going to give us eternal life. We must always remember no matter what the trial or temptation, it is for our good and for our benefit. It is to help us. It is to prove us, to make us stronger and much more pure and righteous, to make us the right witness for Christ. God allows trials and temptations to make us more and more like Jesus that is a FACT!

2. The Faith: “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” The needed attitude: JOY!

The path of life is not an easy path to walk. It is filled with all kinds of trials and temptations, trials such as sickness, disease, accidents, disappointments, sorrows, suffering, and death; and temptations such as all the seductions to sin and evil. What we need is a sure-fire way to conquer all the trials and temptations of life. This is the message of this passage: there is a way to conquer and triumph in this life, no matter how severe the trial or temptation. What is the way? It is possessing a spirit of joy and perseverance as we face the trials and temptations of life. It is a faith that you can wind into your walk.

The attitude needed to face the trials and temptations of life is joy. We are to face trial and temptation with a spirit of joy. How is this possible? How can a believer be joyful? Joy is usually not what fills our heart when we face these things. When severe trials come our way, too often we despair and become discouraged and defeated. Most of us certainly do not joy.

There is only one way to face trials and temptations with a spirit of joy: we have to switch our thinking; turn our attitudes about trials and temptations completely around. We have to quit thinking negatively and think positively. In the words of Scripture we must know something and we must do something.

We must know something: know that trials and temptations work patience. We must know what point one stressed: that trials and temptations are not to defeat and discourage us, but to prove us, to make us much stronger and more pure and righteous. The word "patience" means to be steadfast; to persevere; to endure. The believer is to know that the trials and temptations of life will make him more steadfast, more persevering, and more enduring. They will make him much stronger, not weaker. They will make him strong just like Jesus and they will give him a pure and righteous character just like Jesus. When the believer keeps this fact in his mind, he can face trials and temptations much more positively. He can then begin to move toward the spirit of living joyfully in the face of trials and temptations.

We must do something: we must let patience work within us. As all ready stated, patience means to be steadfast, to persevere, and to endure. But it means more than this in the Greek. It means far more than just bearing and putting up with the trials and temptations. It means far more than just following the advice of medicine and psychology, to take it easy; to be calm; to relax in stressful situations. It means far more than learning to deny the existence of trials and temptations. Patience means; to persevere and keep on persevering, never giving in. To take the initiative and to exert the energy and effort to conquer and to gain the victory and to triumph over the trial and temptation.

How can we joy when a trial or temptation confronts us? By knowing that it will make us stronger and then by persevering against it and conquering it. By knowing that it is an opportunity to make us stronger and more pure just like Jesus and by using the trial or temptation to become a little stronger and a little more pure and righteous.

When we look at trials and temptations as opportunities, then we will begin to face them in joy. And when we begin to persevere and conquer them, then we will begin to walk through them in the joy of the Lord.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

3. The Finality: “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

The finality of this test is perfection - A person becomes more perfect. The word does not mean perfect in the sense of becoming a perfect person. The word means perfection of purpose. It has to do with an end, an aim, a goal, a purpose. It means fit, mature, fully grown at a particular stage of growth. A fully grown child is a perfect child; he has reached his childhood and achieved the purpose of childhood. It does not mean perfection of character that is, being without sin. It is fitness, maturity for task and purpose. It is full development, maturity of godliness. When a person stands against trials and temptations and conquers them, he perfects the purpose God intended. They become a stronger and more pure person, a person who is a little more like Jesus. God has a twofold purpose for every believer: to become more and more like Jesus and to do a specific task or job while on earth. When the believer perseveres against and conquers trials or temptations, he perfects both purposes a little bit more. He becomes more like Jesus and he finishes his task a little more.

When a person perseveres and conquers trials or temptations, he becomes more entire, more fit, more sound, and more complete. He also eliminates more weaknesses, more flaws, more defects, and more shortcomings.

Day by day—trial by trial and temptation by temptation—when a person perseveres and conquers, he becomes more and more entire. He becomes stronger and more pure and righteous—more and more like the Lord Jesus. The person just lacks nothing. He wants for nothing. He has all the abundance and fullness of life. He walks through life conquering and triumphing over all the trials and temptations of life, no matter how severe and stressful. It may even be death, but he stands fast in his faith and conquers death. And God rewards him with an eternity of perfection, fitness, completion, and fulfillment—all forever and ever. The believer is conformed to the perfection of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Maybe it is time some of you either rewind or wind up and work for Christ sake!

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