T-Life Guide
Work Your Faith | Week 2: Perseverance Through Trials | June 11 - 17
Main Point: Trials test our faith. Perseverance is how we work it.
Key Verse: James 1:2-4
Scripture References: James 1:2-4 James 1:12 James 1:25
Introduction
As we continue this week though our series on the book of James, we are seeking to answer "What is saving faith?" and "What does church have to do with it?" We know that how we gauge our faith by how we work our faith. This week, we've learned that, as followers of Jesus, we will face many trials (promised). These are tests (or gauges) of faith. Perseverance is how we work that faith. By choosing to persevere, we are experiencing the outpouring from God of saving faith. It is the pathway to transformation. As such, we can consider it joy when we endure trials knowing that our faith is being tested and it leads us to transformation. Through keeping our eyes on the Father in the midst of trials, we fuel perseverance. We test our faith through working out faith in the midst of trials by persevering through living a life of thankfulness.
Discussion Questions
  1. Last week we were challenged to look humbly and intentionally at our own faith in its current state. How is faith determining your actions? Share any of your prayers, understandings, or challenges that you experienced through answering this question this week.
  2. Trials...share your overall response to this word. What does it make you think of? What has been your classic response? What about the response of others you know? What is our cultures assumptions surrounding trials? Where do they come from? Why do they happen? What is our response?
  3. Grab a Bible and read through James 1:2-4, 12. How different is this perspective towards trials than the one you share about in the above question? In your day-to-day living, which perspective do you live more closely to regarding trials...the world's perspective or the Bible's perspective? What does it look like "consider it pure joy" when going through trials?
  4. Perseverance fueled by thankfulness is how we experience the joy that can in fact come from trials. Share how this has played out in your own life or the life of those that you know. How does thankfulness demonstrate our faith and how does it produce perseverance? Where have you seen this in your life or in the life of others?
Moving Forward
Knowing that we will, in fact, have trials in life allows us to prepare for trials as they come at us so that we are not shocked, overwhelmed, or lost in and by them. God is able to use trials in our lives in order to draw us closer to Himself, to shape us further into His reflection, and to enable us to overcome anything that Satan can throw at us to His glory. Developing a "theology" or "philosophy" of suffering is essential to enduring any trial and allowing the time and space for God to work from within it to build us into His laborer. This week, we want to begin to develop a lifestyle of thankfulness so that we are fueled to persevere in the midst of trials. Each night as you head to bed, grab your journal and write through any trials you experienced this day or that are ongoing. As you write them down, pray through how God is using this trial to develop your perseverance and to become more like Him. Once you have done this, set aside time to write down all those things from this day for which you can give thanks. Take time in prayer to thank God for each of those elements. As you continue through your week, ask God to open your eyes to minute-by-minute opportunities to trust Him and to find joy in the midst of trials through perseverance by thankfulness. In the midst of your trials begin to discover and live by what it is that you are thankful for.
The Word Speaking Life
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4
For a full recap of Sunday's sermon with media, visit the Work Your Faith - Perseverance Through Trials page.
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