INTRODUCTION*How often have you or I had a day like this? Me too.
Chippie had a day like this. Max Lucado lays out the story of Chippie.
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over. The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares." It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart. It would steal my song. Has this stolen your song? The first cli[p and the story of Chippie are kind of cute and humorous but trials are not are they?
· And this our question for today. Sucked in, Washed up, and Blown Over. Now what are we going to do? This is an unbelievably crucial question. The answer to this question is the line in the sand to help us grow up spiritually or stay an infant.
· Please turn to one of my favorite Bible Books..the book of Yacob-James. James chapter 1
OVERVIEW OF THE PASSAGE
· Sucked in, Washed Up, and blown over. This was the original situation of these Jewish believers who were kicked out of home through the diaspora found in Acts 7 and 11. Scattered and homeless through the world. They were beat up, forgotten, minimized, bruised and bloody. And the first words from their spiritual leader James, the half-brother of Jesus are…
§ “I am so sorry you are hurting” or did he say, “Well, just try harder and pull yourself out of these traumas.” Or, God is behind all of this so get angry and blame Him” Or “Let’s form a support group and figure this out.”
· Let’s read it. READ IT-nasb
· Sometimes I like to read from another translation to interrupt my glassy eyes, my attitude of been there and read that. Listen carefully to this translation. THE MESSAGE
Let me tell you our thesis for today.
· Trials grow us up. That is not grammatically correct but you get the point.
· Said another way is Spiritual Maturity is hammered out in our lives on the anvil of intervening difficulties.
· Said another way is When you are sucked in, washed up, and blown over, what are we going to do? This determines our growth.
Before we plunge into this passage, let’s make today as real and practical as possible. I am assuming all of us have gone through that sucking in process…maybe this week or last.
Perhaps we will be washed up again.
So, before we are blown over, let’s get prepared.
Let’s take a moment and think about a present trial, perhaps a past trauma, or a future difficulty. Financial disaster, major marriage problems, an impossible work situation, heartache with children or family, uncertainty of health.
The Holy Spirit is filling in the blank, right now, isn’t He? He is so faithful.
Capture one trial in your head that you either have or will have and keep retracing your memories back to this trial as we go…walk through this passage.
Circle rather than linear outline which seems to fit the passage and perhaps reflects a Jewish pattern of thinking.
GOD ALLOWS OR ARRANGES…Any good Hebrew would believe in the total sovereignty of God.
· This is the dominant position
· These are crucial first words like “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty-the Gettysburg address. Orperhaps those first three crucial words of “We the people” Those words are the beginning of our constitution
· Crucial words because these really are possibly first words of first words. Many believe James was written in 33, 34 AD. What if these were the first words of the first words of the NEW Testament. How important are they? Does this passage set a blueprint, a template, a guide for the rest of the New Testament. I know what I believe…
· I cannot tell how often I have quoted this passage to myself or others. I remember Len saying this passage was a personal favorite of his. I had to memorize it for myself and If you haven’t I would strongly encourage you to.
· Now this sounds a little sick, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it feel a little wrong…joy and trials? Like pouring Milk into Coke. We go….oooooo, not quite right. So, let’s set joy aside for a moment and retrace our steps back to it later.
· Consider is a mental term. But it is not “think.” It is not suppose or assume. God chooses “consider.”
· The word means curiously “leading thought, ruling thought, chief thought.”
· For these Jewish believers they would have thought of meditation. But it is meditation on steroids. It is meditation times XX3 or 4..strong!
· It bugs me sometimes that God is always after my thought life. Sometimes the hardest work I do…Is working at a good attitude. I remember one day in the last week, I woke up grumpy and this didn’t go right and that didn’t go right…and struggling with my attitude. Sometimes the hardest work I do…
· God says to connect joy and trials. And when we don’t think of TRIALS as JOY as psychologist would say we have a cognitive distortion. Zig Zigler would say, “We have stinkin’ thinkin’. It is stinkin’ thinkin’ when we DON’T CONSIDER IT JOY BECAUSE THIS IS GOD’S DESIRES. THIS IS WHAT HE WANTS AND IS GOING TO EMPOWER US TO DO..CONSIDER..
· God says consider it joy. As if God leans over and says, Make it the first thought, the ruling thought, the dominant thought. This truth is in charge. You are not. My child, My community (because this is plural-the whole bunch of you)…It’s pure joy. This thought be the boss. Yes, pure joy. Okay, I’m curious, How?
WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER
· Says “WHEN” not “IF”
· One of our greatest problems is…we believe life would be easier than it really is.
· I remember an occasion when I was grumbling… and the Holy Spirit said…
· WE need to remind ourselves, WE ARE OUT OF EDEN-which the Hebrew word means “Pleasure.” We are out of PERMANENT PLEASURE.
· As long as we are breathing, we are slapped by trials. They never quit and unless we handle them biblically, they tend to get bigger, harder, and worser. (Not grammatically correct, but the word communicates.)
· When don’t get to choose when or where or how trials, stress, pressure, and difficulties crowd into our lives. We have a choice in HOW they are faced. Believers should think, “Trials are just around the corner.”
· Oh, good I can’t expect it being just one area…like I will ALWAYS be tested in my finances. So, I get used to that. Or I wll ALWAYS be tested in my car breaking down. It is not that simple. It says VARIOUS TRIALS because our creative Master is our Creative Master. And if we want to be like the Lord Jesus, He CUSTOMIZES my trials just for me to make me very PECIAL!!
· The word “trials” means to pierce into. We get the word “pirate” from it…to pierce into. Trials feel like “a piercing” to me. When my mother died it felt like “ a piercing.” When I have a very troublesome client it feels like a piercing. What about that past, present, or future trial you captured at the beginning of the message. Does it feel like a piercing? WHEN WE DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE…THE BALLOON POPPING.
· This piercing is designed to push me out of my comfort zone because in MY comfort zone I THINK I am in control. So, these piercings are designed to rudely push me out of my comfort zone and cause me to look in and to look up. To look in to see where I am not matching up with the Lord Jesus Christ. To look up to ask God the Father to help me be like the Lord Jesus Christ.
· ILLUSTRATION-AN UGLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT
· There are two words in the New Testament. One is oida, generally …
· There is “book knowledge” and then there is the combination of book knowledge with action knowledge. In the Army’s basic training, there is classroom work. But the work recruits do in combat training is the idea of this word. It is “hands-on.”
· This word has the implanted idea of experiencing truth. Not validating truth through experience but experiencing truth. Jesus climaxed the Sermon on the Mount with “He who hears My words and DOES them, will be wise.
· Before my mother’s death, I would be sympathetic to others grieving. After walking through her death and applying God’s Word to it, there was a deeper “hands-on” knowledge by practicing truth.
TESTING OF YOUR FAITH
· When I am sucked in, Washed up, and blown over, my faith is ALWAYS demonstrated. If I have a piercing and I think, “I have enough money to solve this. Or if I have a piercing and I think, “I will gut it up and I’ll get ‘er done.” Or my parents, spouse, friends, etc. will get me through. Or my charm, good looks, wit, and winning personality will get me through.” I have just demonstrated where my faith is. Where I turn to first shows my faith because we always operate on a faith basis. The question is “Who or What?”
· The word “TESTING” implies demonstrating the true quality of something under pressure. The word means “a test we will pass.” God gives a test He knows we can pass. He exposes our faith but does not destroy our faith.
· The true nature of gold becomes evident when the refiner heats gold ore over a fire. Similarly, the character of God within a Christian becomes apparent through trials.
· This is a curious combination to me…faith testing produces endurance. I thought “why” Faith produces endurance…faith and endurance. I felt fuzzy. The picture sharpened when I thought of one Bible character. What character? Caleb. Caleb trusted God that Israel could enter and conquer the land and never quit in his belief. His faith in Elohim produced endurance.
· THOMAS EDISON illustrated this when he exclaimed “I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.”
· I’m immediately slapped with …I have to allow endurance to work. I get impatient and want to quit after the fourth Lowes visit. I have seen so many people in counseling—edge of a break through—NOT GIVE UP
· AN ILLUSTRATION OF ENDURANCE WITH ONE OF OUR OWN IN KANSAS CITY
· It would be no different for these Jewish believers. Their slower pace of external life doesn’t guarantee internal patience. They had heard and had to absorb Job’s endurance during trials. Job was sucked in, washed up and blown over. He responded with enduring through.
· It’s as if My Master is saying to me “Jerry, my son, I value hanging in there. Enduring through delights my heart. After all, I did it when I walked on your same planet. Embrace enduring through. Allow endurance.”
PERFECT AND COMPLETE LACKING IN NOTHING
· Perfect means “perfection and wholeness of Christian character” It is being “a complete person, having integrity.
· Complete translates a form of holoklēros, which carries the idea of being whole, entire. The prefix holo is the term from which we get HOLOGRAM, a 360-degree, three-dimensional depiction of an object.
· A question for us, Who is THE MOST mature, complete, whole , 360 degree person who has ever lived on the planet? You’re right with your internal answer…Jesus the Christ.
· So, let’s return full circle. REMEMBER I SAID WE WOULD COME BACK TO JOY? WHY can I, should I, will I CONSIDER IT PURE JOY when trials run into me? Because if I have the right mindset when I am Sucked in, Washed up, and Blown Over, Trials revolutionize me into Christ.
· How long takes it take to change the TV channel? Less than a second. How long takes it take to change our life? Sometimes years. Do I want to change a TV channel or my life?
There are many ways we apply this passage. WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT FIVE PRINCIPLES
Let's just returned and walk backwards to do the phrases. The testing of our faith, and the phrase we might be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
In regard to this phrase the testing of our faith, there's more than one thing going on here.
The test does reveal our genuineness the James also says the test is designed to develop something not yet present in full measure in the person and the group. Otherwise, God would tell us to do in the rest of the passage that there's more that can be accomplished here in our maturity at we go through this process. It reveals things in us as we let him work and as we endure. We grow up, and we change and we are lacking nothing.
This is an important principle, so let's pay close attention to it, trials are designed to turn our head and heart to unfinished business. We need to accept the truth the trials don't create and they reveal.
1. Trials reveal immaturity
Illustration of the balloon, toothpaste, or the pond illustration.
For example, we go through a trial we get sucked in washed up and blown over. And then, what is now the process. Will we begin to see is this trial reveals that we struggle with our anger or, we are tempted to be fearful or we worry and get anxious or perhaps you're like I am we get impatient or we be we become critical of others or we withdraw or we blame or we fight and the list goes on and on and on the original question we ask what is WinWord sect in washed up and blown over, and now when we get into perhaps this gives us a specific thing to do at for this process.
It is otherwise been taught that when things are revealed to me to the process of life that what the Holy Spirit wants me to do is have me run to the word.
2. The Word matures me-ACTS 20, HEBREWS 5
3. I must internalize the Word for maturity
Now, what is that mean number one be taken areas being revealed our anger our fear our worry are fighting are blaming our withdrawal, whatever the area is never to what we can do is begin to search to Scripture.
a. God’s goal and desire is for me is to INTERNALIZE the Word to EXTERNALIZE the Word in the next TRIAL in order to endure and GROW UP.
b. Look at the illustration of the Lord Jesus
c. WHAT DOES THE PROCESS LOOK LIKE TO INTERNALIZE THE WORD? 5 STEPS
i. What immaturity is being revealed?
ii. Run to the Word
iii. Internalize the Word through hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and mediating with all of them. The idea is that we can expose ourselves to the word and let the word expose itself to us.
Four Key Words…Work, Work, Work, and the last is Work.
iv. When the trial comes, or some form of it, (BY THE WAY THE TWO WORDS ARE THE SAME!!) I think, meditate, focus on REPEAT saying, speaking, shouting to myself the TRUTH of the WORD.
AN ILLUSTRATION OF PLAY DOUGH
v. REPEAT FOR ANY FUTURE TRIALS GOD ALLOWS
We've really are becoming mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
4. Are we stuck or growing?
When we don't this interesting thing that happens. We used to circles can illustrate this passage. And there's another circle the comes into play here and it looks like this. We circle and circle and circle and circle and circle and circle. We feel like we’re stuck. Have you ever felt like you're spinning your wheels question because I have. I have too many times. The question I get asked and perhaps we can ask is have we integrated the word of God by the Paris Holy Spirit into this life situation. But whatever we want to in here. Promise of their marriage, province of their finances problems with their kids problems with their in-laws problems at work. Problems of their boss problems with anything in life, and when we don't integrate the word into it and Esther God's help through it we get a stack. And what happens is we stay immature in a particular area of our lives.
Well, what can it look like it questions. We've got another circle that as we integrate the word by the power of the Holy Spirit and we let him dominate the situation all of a sudden this circle starts to look like this it gets bigger and bigger and bigger. We really do become mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If the idea of I'm ready I am ready. I am ready.
5. God is changing my ‘NATURAL THINKING INTO SUPERNATURAL THINKING!!
So let's go back to IDEA if consider this is really crucial because the process is designed to change our natural thinking into super natural thinking.
When were in a trial our natural thinking causes us to want to avoid it to ignore it to try to overcome it in her own strength, and that's natural thinking supernatural thinking is to say this is opportunity for me to grow up and be like Jesus so that I'm not stack said I am mature so that I am like him so that things will go differently in my life now and in the future.
As I think again of how we started the phrase is ALL JOY or NOTHING BUT JOY or PURE JOY, I tried to think of a way…