According to James when you suffer, the main thing you need is wisdom
What is Wisdom?
Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.
(JI Packer, Knowing God, p80)
I. Why do I need wisdom when I suffer?
What you believe about the adversity you face will determine how you respond to it.
Model for Handling Adversity
A – Activating event (trouble)
B – Belief about the event. (how you interpret it)
C- Choice you make, and the consequences of that decision.
- Wisdom helps you interpret the event through a different set of lenses; through God’s perspective.
“Consider” it pure joy when you encounter various kinds of trials.
- Whether you can bear it or not is determined by the beliefs about yourself, the world and our beliefs about God.
II. Handling Trouble: The world’s wisdom.
A. Science and technology can fix it.
- The Truth: we are not in charge (Psalm 119:16)
B. We live in a secular world.
- You must get all of your happiness here and now
- If this life is all there is, there is no way to deal with suffering.
III. Power for Trouble: God’s Wisdom
A. Believe your wisdom is limited
- Ask for it.
- If you think you are wise, you are a fool. (Proverbs 26:12)
- We see a mere reflection. (I Corinthians 13:12)
B. Believe this world is temporary
- Suffering is not our lot in life.
- It is not what we were created for.
C. Have faith in God alone. (James 1:6-8)
The question suffering asks: In whom or what do you have faith in?
D. Believe in the Cross of Jesus Christ
- He suffered unjustly, yet he persevered.
- Will you suffer for him?
- Will you endure? (stand your ground) just as he did?
- Will you be single-minded?