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Survey of James: Part 1 (North Venue)

October 15, 2023
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Survey of James
The book of James offers faithful wisdom that anchors our hearts in God's goodness, reminding us that difficulties, though painful, are meant to strengthen us. Biblical truth, rather than worldly thinking, gives us an eternal perspective far above what our eyes alone can see.

So many of us are weary, overwhelmed by chaos in the world and in our personal lives. We’re left feeling stretched thin and anxious about the future. In the opening section of his letter, James offers faithful wisdom that anchors our hearts in God’s goodness. He reminds us that difficulties, though painful, are meant to strengthen our faith and character. By clinging to biblical truth rather than worldly thinking, we gain an eternal perspective far above what our eyes alone can see. Listen as Teaching Pastor Adam Brock surveys James 1. Learn how surrendering control to our unchanging Father brings freedom and rest for the soul.

Key Takeaways

  • Living our faith is a daily commitment. We are called to actively live out our faith beyond Sunday mornings. A healthy, growing faith is one that craves God’s Word throughout the week.
  • Suffering can be a divine tool for growth. Difficulties and trials produce perseverance and maturity in believers. By placing our trust in God, we can find joy even in tribulation. We can rest knowing He will use them for our good and His glory. Nothing is ever wasted in His hands.
  • We need wisdom from God to help us faithfully endure trials.
  • All of us lack wisdom and should ask God to fill us. Do not rely on your own limited understanding, especially in times of suffering.
  • God does not tempt us. Temptation arises from our own evil desires, and leads to spiritual death if unchecked. We must guard our minds and nip sin in the bud.
  • God is good and unchanging. We must never allow suffering to change our view of Him.

For Further Study

  1. The book of James emphasizes the wisdom from God in handling trials. How can we seek and apply God’s wisdom in our daily lives? How does this differ from worldly wisdom? (James 3:17; 1 Corinthians 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 3:19; 2 Corinthians 1:12)
  2. How have the trials in your life shaped your walk with Christ?
  3. Now consider the trials you’ve faced recently. How can they be opportunities for growth and maturity in your faith?
  4. James 1:5 encourages us to ask God for wisdom and trust that He will generously provide it. Ask Him for wisdom to handle the trials you’re facing right now.
  5. In what areas of your life do you need God’s wisdom the most?
  6. James 1:9-11 contrasts the fleeting nature of worldly riches with the enduring identity of belonging to Christ. Whether we are rich or poor in the eyes of the world, the reality is that our true worth and boast is in Christ alone. Prayerfully consider where you place your worth. Is it in Christ or worldly riches? If you struggle with self-worth, how can you reorient your mind and heart to boast in Christ alone?
  7. James 1:12-15 reminds us that temptation stems from our own desires, not from God. Prayerfully ask God to help you recognize sinful desires and thought patterns. Ask Him to help you desire Him above everything else (Psalm 42:1-2).
  8. In the sermon, Adam talked about the necessity of being born again (John 3:3-7). Being born again means trusting Christ for forgiveness and new life. If we place our faith in the finished work of Christ, His sacrifice is applied to us in a way that transforms our life. Without this Gospel faith, it is impossible to live out any of the lessons in the book of James. Prayerfully consider: have you experienced this new birth? If not, we have a resource that might help. Please reach out with any questions. We would love to talk with you about it.


Do you have joy right now in the middle of your circumstance, in the middle of your difficulty? Do you have joy? Because if you don’t have joy in the middle of your circumstance, then what that might mean is that you have taken your circumstances and made them the god of your life.

All sermons in the series 

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