Title:  The Crowning Perspective
Purpose:  To show how we can rejoice in bad times

Intro:    1.  Intro to James - Jesus is looking for "real" Christians, not           
                "reel" (movie acting) Christians
Text:  James 1:1-12
            3.  Once approved we can receive the crown of life  (what does             
                 word crown make you think of?)
                  a.  This crown not a diadem (kingly crown, Jesus is the King)
                  b.  Crown is a stephanos, (victory wreath given to the victor
                       of the games)
                         1)  It symbolizes our prize at the end of the race
                         2)  It is literally the victory wreath OF LIFE (eternal life--
with God)
           4.  We can only receive this victory wreath if approved (v. 12)
           5.  How?   Answer-- "p.p.t."  (sounds like an insecticide)

I.  Perspective
      A.  Consider it all joy  (Grk: has "all joy" first in the sentence)
             1.  All joy, supreme joy, nothing but joy
             2.  When you encounter VARIOUS trials  (any kind of trial)
      B.  Benefits of God seem to be burdens instead of blessings
             1.  HOW can we be joyful because of problems in life?
             2.  Even Jesus "for the joy set before him endured the Cross"
                 (Heb. 12:2)  HOW?
3.  Notice:  We are NOT  to be joyful because of problems
                  in life.
                   a.  He did NOT say consider it all joy because you
                        have problems
                   b.  He did say consider it all joy when you encounter
      4.  They are called
trials not problems (HAVE TO HAVE RIGHT           
                   a.  they are called trials because they are a
testing of our faith
                   b.  Testing:  (Grk:  To refine.  The process of making
                        Gold pure)
                         1)  Gold would be put through the fire to be made pure
                         2)  All of the impurities would be melted away--only pure               
                              Gold remain
      C.  It would not be a pleasant experience to be sculpted, molded
           and fired in the oven 
             1.  God is allowing us to be molded and fired
             2.  Correct perspective will determine the outcome:
                   a.  Testing...Endurance...perfect result (WORK)
                   b.  Result - You are perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
                      -You are being made fit for the task ahead of you
                      -We are either fitting or unfitting ourselves by our reactions
ILL:  What about the body builders?
             1.  Do they dwell on the unpleasantness of the experience?  No!
                  a.  Think about the end results
                  b.  Celebrate because of the pain?  No!  But because they are
                        stepping stones
             2.  "NO PAIN NO GAIN" - Welcome pain because of
                  "PUMP YOU UP"

II.  Petition
      A.  If anyone lacks wisdom, or "discernment"
             1.  Discernment for what?
             2.  Answer:  To get a handle on these trials and have a
                      right perspective
      B.  If you are having problems facing your trials with joy ASK GOD     
           TO HELP
             1.  Passage says that he gives
without reproach
             2.  Passage also says he gives generously
Does not say that he will take away your suffering,
                          though he might
                    2)  It does say he will give you all the wisdom you need
                         to face it with the right perspective - so that you can over
                         come and be made stronger
      C.  ILL:  Star Trek 5, Sarak could take away emotional pain.  Kirk did not want him to, he said "you can't wave a magic wand and get rid of pain, I don't want it taken away, I need my pain, it's what makes us human"
             1.  Is this attitude Biblical?  (I read recently about a man who
                  said that it was unscriptural to pray for a thorn in the flesh
                  because it was a messenger of Satan)
             2.  2 Cor. 12:7-10  -  Paul asked to have it removed
                     a.  This thorn will make you strong,
he was given a new perspectiv
                     b.  Paul's new perspedtive was to rejoice in it,
                            HE NO LONGER WANTED IT TAKEN AWAY
            3.  What would have happened if Paul rejected it?
                     a.  Lose faith?  Because God didn't take away his trials?
                     b.  Dropped out of ministry because of his weaknesses?
                     c.  One things for sure, Satan would have worked overtime
                          on him!
      D.  If having problems, ask God for WISDOM

III.  Trust
      A.  When you pray have to ask without doubting
      B.  Cannot trust in yourself, notice v. 9-10
            1.  The lowly brother of humble circumstances should glory in his high position
                   a.  Poverty is seen as a curse by the world
                   b.  We should glory in it, not curse it and live for Ed
                        McMann coming over
            2.  The rich man should glory in his humiliation
      C.  Realize you can't depend on your money, status, or reputation
             -Can only humbly depend on God
      D.  For the ones that don't depend on God, the Bible gives us 2
             1.  Like the surf of the sea:  Yes Yes Yes Yes, No, No, No, No
                  -- Right along with the waves of life, no direction no decision
            2.  A double minded man (man of two minds)
                   a.  On the one hand you say, yes I trust God, but got to have
                        that insurance
      E.  Have to trust God and not in yourself (v.11)
           1.  That scorching sun and wind, that TRIAL will come
           2.  The externals will be scorched, your reputation, money,
                human strength...
           3.  Only God can make you equal to the task

1.  so how will you handle the trials?
2.  Whether they are merely problems to run away from, or trials to overcome depends on
THREE THINGS: 1.  Perspective 2.  Petition 3.  Trust
3.  Have you been facing trials with joy, and dependence on God?
4.  Today, ask God not to give you Wisdom and Trust to face the trials
5.  Some are facing trials of Finances / With the Brethren / With difficult Co-Workers / Maybe even with your children or your Parents.  (Just need to get away, if do, have right perspective)
6.  Don't get mad, get joyful
7.  You can do that with the right perspective, asking God for it, and trusting that he will give it.