John Wimber, the US pastor and pioneer of the Vineyard movement, had a huge influence on the church around the world. He died at the age of sixty-three. Life had often been extremely difficult for him. He had many health problems and was broken-hearted that his eldest son, Chris, was dying at the same time as him. He had been subject to an outrageous amount of criticism.
God used John Wimber in extraordinary ways, but he and his team faced many trials and temptations. Perhaps it is not surprising that the passages today return to the subject of trials and temptations. Usually, as we emerge from one battle, there is another one around the corner. This is the challenge of life. This psalm is full of indications of difficulty and opposition. In the psalm we see three key aspects of what that reliance on God involves:.
Lord, I praise you for your love, goodness and splendour.
2. Trials often result when things don't go our way:
Thank you for the way you have rescued me and delivered me. Thank you that I can rely on you as I look to the future and the battles ahead. Authentic Christianity is bound to lead to opposition and trials of one sort or another. Here, the disciples have literally been put in jail and on trial. There has not been a single period in church history when Christians have not been tried for this offence somewhere in the world. It was not disputed that the man had been healed. In the Gospels it is Jesus who does the miracles; in Acts ordinary people do miracles in his name.
Today, you can pray in this same powerful way. Peter had the audacity to tell his judges that they were guilty of crucifying the saviour of the world. They had rejected and crucified Jesus. Peter had been frightened to admit to a servant girl that he even knew Jesus.
Now, he is a changed person. He proclaims Jesus and the resurrection in public, in the court where Jesus was tried and yards from where he was crucified. He now knew what Jesus had come to do and, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus was with him and helping him. Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education.
They were his disciples. Many of the people used greatly by God have had little formal education. Peter and John were threatened and told not to speak about Jesus. As they faced their judges, they were hugely helped by the fact that everyone could see what an amazing miracle had taken place. The forty-year-old healed man was standing there as living testimony to the power of Jesus vv.
Lord, fill me with your Spirit and give me the same courage that Peter and John had so that I can go on proclaiming Jesus, whatever the cost and whatever the opposition. May we see outstanding miracles like those that you performed through your first followers. But these are some of the most haunting words in the whole Bible. David had been found out.
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Since trials and temptations are certainties, we need to understand where they come from and how they operate. In James , James deals with some key issues related to trials and temptations. In these verses, James goes beneath the surface of trials and temptations to demonstrate the inner workings and results of them. In particular, James deals with the issue of the their nature what are they?
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, with verse 12, James puts the last piece in place regarding trials. The immediate purpose of trials is to produce perseverance. The ultimate result of perseverance is blessing. It is the blessing of eternal life.
It is not that we earn eternal life by persevering. Rather, after we have persevered, eternal life awaits us. The promise of life encourages us to persevere. The glory of heaven helps us endure difficulty on earth. That is a trial.
Is a Temptation Also a Trial?
He begins to experience the pressure of needing income. Temptation then uses that same circumstance to lure him into stealing. Or what about a person whose spouse has grown distant toward them. The person begins to feel the need for some attention and affection. Temptation then uses that same circumstance to lure them into an affair.
The fact that trials and temptations often come together compels James to address the issue of temptation.
Facing Trials and Temptations
ILL: We see this same scenario played out in the garden of Eden with the original temptation to sin. After they fell, Adam and Eve both wanted to pin the blame on God. God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt anyone. His holy, perfect, sinless nature makes it impossible for Him to be influenced by evil or to influence others with evil. Sermon Topics: Endurance. Summer Sermon Series.
Weekly Sermon Collections. Online Sermon Editor. Home Sermons Trials And Temptations. View all Sermons. Trials test our faith to produce perseverance which results in blessing vv. A quick refresher course in trials vv. We should be joyful when all kinds of trials test our faith.