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Sunday, July 1, 2012

"WHAT TO DO WHEN THE HEAT'S TURNED UP" (not what you think)

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I wasn't able to get to church this morning so I happened to watch Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah on TV. I have always enjoyed his messages. Not only enjoyed, but have been blessed by them many times. Right now he is doing a series for the 30th anniversary of shows, and they are the most asked for messages. Today's message is the title of this post, which I think is very appropriate for all the record breaking heat the whole country is experiencing right now. Of course, he did not mean that kind of heat, but it all works together since God's Word is always appropriate for all occasions.

This is part of a study of the book of James and today concentrated on the first chapter. I will include the outline of the message and a few highlights that attracted my attention. The outline includes points that we should all remember and think about when we are going through a trial.

1. Celebrate the Reason Behind Your Trials

                         James 1:2
                             2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, (RSV)
This I find quite interesting. Dr.Jeremiah said the original Greek word that is translated "count" literally has the sense of "fast forward". When in a trial we need to fast forward our minds and think about the joy that is waiting for us after the trial is over. Yes, the trial is hard while we are in it, but we can focus on the end of the trial and the joy that waits for us there.

Then he went to Hebrews 12:2

Hebrews 12:2

2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (RSV)

Here we see Jesus 'fast forwarding', for He knew what was waiting for Him after He would be crucified. He knew that by going 'through' He would bring salvation to all believers, and that is a joyous thing! And it also meant that He would later go through the transformation and take up residence in heaven at the right hand of the Father. There is nothing better on earth or in heaven than that. But, in order to do all that, He must endure the trial and shame of the cross.

2. Calculate the Results of Your Trials
James -
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.

    A. Trials Produce Durability

           They can teach patience and endurance.

     B. Trials Produce Maturity

            The words in verse 4 - perfect and complete - mean 'to be mature'. We need to 'go through' stuff in order to grow up. I know when I see a Christian that has a very strong and visible faith, they have gone through the trials. We often wish we were like them, but are we ready to go through what they have been through to get where they are?

3. Call Upon God's Resources in Your Trials

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.

Always remember:
      A. God is Good
           There are meany references in the Bible that tells us God is good. If you would like the ones Dr. Jeremiah used, contact me.

       B. God is Generous
            Look at verse 5 above.

       C. God is Gracious
            Reference again verse 5 above. God is never insulted by our coming to Him over and over with our pleas.

4. Consider Your Reactions to Your Trials

9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Trials are the levelers. There is no bias with God. Trials befall both rich and poor alike, believers and unbelievers. We all become equal. We are not singled out because of who or what we are.

5. Contemplate the Reward of Your Trials

12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.

Here is that joy that we are to 'fast forward' to while in a trial.

If you would like to hear the whole message go to www.davidjeremiah.org

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