Call to Worship Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Prayer of Adoration
Hymn SuggestionHow Firm a Foundation
Call to Confession of Sin Psalm 119:10-11
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Silent Confession (Confess how you haven’t always sought God with your whole heart and how you have replaced him with lesser things)
Assurance of Pardon I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Scripture Reading James 1:1-8
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
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.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Questions for discussion and reflection
- How do you define a “trial”? How does James, or the rest of the New Testament (Romans 5:3-4; I Thess. 1:6; I Peter 1:6-7; 4:12; 2 Peter 2:9)?
- Are you able to approach trials joyfully, as James instructs? Why or why not?
- What should the Christian expect from trials according to James?
- If you feel comfortable, discuss some trials in your life and discuss how you can, should or did apply James 1:2-4 to that situation.
- In our society, where self-sufficiency is valued, how do you ask God for wisdom during your trials (or anytime)? Is it difficult for you to admit you don’t have all the answers? This idea is not unique to James, and it may help to look at Proverbs 2:1-6 or 1 Kings 3:9-12.
- James paints a picture of an inconsistent person who can’t expect to receive anything from God. What imagery does he use and how does it help us understand the “double-minded” person?
- How did Jesus handle trials during his earthly life? How does that help you?
Benediction Philippians 4:23
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.