James 01: Facing trials in life

James 1:1-12

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Let me start with a question. How many of you like tests? You are the kind of person who just loves exams. There are always a few strange people. It’s okay, Jesus loves you. But it’s safe to say that most of us don’t like tests. We don’t like trials. But here is the thing about trials. Whether we like it or not, whether we want it or not, they are always coming for us. We are either just coming out of trials, in the midst of trials, or heading toward trials. Trials are unavoidable. From our childhood to our retirement, what is constant is that our trials are not over. I know many of us are facing heavy trials right now. Some of you have a desire to be married, but singleness continues. Some are married but marriage doesn’t work out as expected. Some have the desire for children, but it doesn’t happen. Others have children and your children have physical or mental weaknesses. Others have relationships with kids or parents that are marked with pain and heartache. Some of you have recently lost your parents. Some have been struggling with physical sickness for years. Others are struggling with mental health and emotional challenges. On top of that, some trials come specifically because of your faith in Jesus. And you pray for miracles. You believe God can deliver you out of your trials. You see God do it in other people’s lives. But for whatever reason, your trials continue, and they only seem to worsen. The point is that none of us is free from trials. So, how do we face trials in life?

Today we are beginning a new series on the book of James. Why James? The reason we are doing James is because it is the perfect follow-up to our series on Galatians. In Galatians, we learned that we are saved by faith alone. That’s it. No addition. The moment we add anything to Jesus’ perfect work, we destroy it. We lose the gospel. Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. But the question is, how do we know if our faith is genuine? How do we know if our faith is authentic and not artificial? James will answer that question for us. The book of James is going to make clear that we can think we have true saving faith in Christ when we don’t. So, the book of James is unique because James takes the gospel and says, “In the light of the gospel, how then shall we live?” Those of you who love a ‘to-do’ list will love the book of James. James is filled with practical steps on how to live in the Kingdom of God. It is a very down-to-earth book. He is very clear. “Do this and don’t do that. Listen to this and don’t listen to that. Go here and don’t go there.” I don’t think you can read the book of James and not understand what he is trying to communicate.

Let’s look at the context of the book first. James 1:1 – James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Pop quiz time. Who wrote the book of James? If any of you answered, “Paul,” I would resign right now. So, who is James? This is not James, one of the twelve apostles. This is James, the half-brother of Jesus. And that is amazing. If you ever doubt the authenticity of Christian faith, just look at James’ life. Think about it. What does it take for your older brother to convince you that he is the Son of God? If anyone is going to see your sin, it is your little brother. You treat your little brother as dirt. Your little brother sees all your inconsistency. He sees all your heartlessness. He sees your ego and pride. Am I right, every little brother? But here we see James calls Jesus, Lord. And he wasn’t always a believer. There were days when James did not believe in Jesus. He made fun of Jesus. But now he says, “I take it back. My half-brother is not crazy. He is God. And I’m all in.” What happened? What card did Jesus play? Here is what can convince your younger brother that you are God: you predict your death, you die, stay dead for three days, and then come alive and eat nuggets with him. The resurrection of Jesus changed James completely from calling his half-brother a moron to Lord.

James then became one of the main pastors of the Jerusalem church. And look at how James introduced himself. If I was James, I would probably say, “Hi, I am James, ehem, the younger brother of Jesus.” That would be my introduction anytime anywhere. But James didn’t do that. He did not boast in the half-brother badge. He calls himself the servant of Jesus. For James, it is far more significant to be known as the servant of Jesus than the younger brother of Jesus. Praise God for the biological connection with Jesus, but it cannot be compared with the spiritual connection he enjoyed with Jesus. James wrote this letter around 40 AD, which makes it the earliest piece of Christian writing in the New Testament. And it is directed to the Christian Jews who were scattered to different places because of persecution. That’s his main audience. So, James is a letter written by a pastor to members of his church who were scattered because of persecution. But this letter is also for all Christians dispersed throughout the world. And he begins his letter by talking about the one common experience every Christian faces in life: trials.

Let’s look at it together. How do we face trials in life? Three things that we can see in the text: Have God’s perspective; Trust in God’s wisdom; Look to God’s reward.

Have God’s perspective

James 1:2-4 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Notice that James does not say, “if you meet trials” but “when you meet trials.” It means no one is exempted from trials. It doesn’t matter who you are, trials are coming for you. No matter how holy you are, you can wake up at 4 AM every morning to read the Bible and memorize a chapter of the Bible each day, trials are still coming for you. Trials can come anytime, anywhere, and without invitation. I wish trials have the courtesy to call us in advance to let us know that they are coming. “Hey Yos, I will be heading your way next week and I’m going to stick around for about two weeks. Be ready.” That would be nice, right? But they don’t. All it takes is a single phone call to turn a wonderful day into a nightmare. But listen to what James says. He says, “Count it all joy, my brothers.” “Wait a minute, James. You are not making any sense. Don’t you know the pain that I am going through? Don’t you know how hard it is for me just to get up in the morning and live another day? Can’t you see the bucket of tears that I posted on Instagram last night? What do you mean by count it all joy?” Joy is not what we typically feel in trials, right? What feels natural is anger, especially if the trials feel unjust. “What did I do to deserve this pain? Why me? Why not others? This is unfair.” Or the other natural response is despair. “How long do I have to endure this? Are things ever going to change? Will the pain ever go away?” Anger and despair are what feel natural to us in trials. But joy is the last thing we associate with in our trials.

But listen carefully to what James says. He doesn’t say, “Hey guys, trials are great. I want you to enjoy your trials. Have fun.” He doesn’t say that. He also doesn’t say, “You are just going to have to bear with it for now. You have no choice but to suck it up until your trials are over.” He doesn’t say that. James says, “Count it all joy.” The word count means we are supposed to look at what trials can get us. James is not telling us so much how to feel but how to think. In other words, he is saying, “If you think clearly, if you do the math properly, if you know the reason behind your trials, you can find joy in trials.” How? Because our trials are not random. God is the one who planned all the trials that we experience. God is the one who is in charge. And God has a purpose in bringing trials into our lives. And listen, God is not a passive observer. He does not look at our trials and scratches his head saying, “I wonder what I should do with the trials that they are experiencing right now. Gabriel, what do you think?” No. The God of the Bible is in absolute control over every trial. He does not drive an ambulance. Do you know what I mean by that? An ambulance shows up after an accident and goes, “Gosh, what happened to you? We’ll do what we can to fix you.” But that’s not how God operates. God does not show up on the scene trying to repair what is broken. He knows exactly what is happening in all places at all times. He never shows up late. So, the first thing we must have in trials is God’s perspective. We must see the bigger picture.

What is the bigger picture? Here it is. Trials reveal to us whether our faith in God is genuine or not. God is using trials to test and refine our faith. It is easy to say that we have faith in God when life works out as planned. But we know this. It is not good times that prove whether our faith is genuine or not. It is not a season where everything goes according to our expectations that shows whether we truly trust God or not. It is when nothing goes according to our expectations that proves whether we truly have faith in God or not. It is trials that reveal who we truly are. So, if life goes wrong and we are mad at God, “God, how could you let this happen to me? I did not deserve it” and we walk away from God, it shows that our faith is never genuine in the first place. Trials reveal that to us. Do you see? Our response to trials reveals our heart’s true condition. Do we love God for God or are we using God to get what we really want? And if we love God for God, God is using trials to refine our faith. I love how Douglas Moo puts it. “The difficulties of life are intended by God to refine our faith: heating it in the crucible of suffering so that impurities might be refined away and so that it might become pure and valuable before the Lord.” Isn’t it true that our sweetest experience of Jesus happens in our most agonizing trials? Why? Because trials get rid of impurities in faith. Trials burn away our self-dependence and drive us to Jesus.

Not only that, James says that trials also produce steadfastness, and steadfastness will lead us to become perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Let me explain how it works. The word steadfastness is from the Greek word ‘hypomone’ which means to stand fast, to be unmovable. A steadfast person is a person who can’t be moved. Trials produce steadfastness, endurance. And that endurance leads us to become perfect and complete. It means we become fully mature in Christ. And this is the ultimate goal of Christian life, isn’t it? We want to become mature in Christ. But do you know how we get there? We want to believe that we can become spiritually mature by reading lots of Tim Keller’s books, listening to lots of gospel-centred podcasts, watching Christian Instagram reels every day on the toilet seat. But we can’t. Do you know how we become mature? Trials. If you are younger, you probably think I am exaggerating. But those who are closer to my age know I am right. Isn’t it true that trials and difficulties in life equip us to be better people? Trials equip us to understand ourselves better and therefore make better decisions. We know our own limitations and we know how to deal with our own hearts better, so we can deal with others better. Trials equip us to do everything much better. Trials can turbocharge the ordinary process of Christian growth.

For example, look at the Apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us something very interesting about himself. He says that he had a thorn in the flesh. We don’t know what it was. He didn’t tell us. But it was something bad that he wanted God to remove. He says, “I had this trial that pained me so much and I asked God to take it away from me. I pleaded to God three times. But God said, ‘No, Paul. I am not going to remove it from your life. Because I want to show you my grace through that trial that you experienced.’” And Paul was okay with that. Do you know why Paul was okay with that? We can argue that Paul was the most brilliant person who ever lived besides Jesus. Jesus founded the church, but it was Paul who took the teaching of Jesus and made it crystal clear to all Christians. He was extremely gifted. But he says in that passage, “The reason why God gave me the thorn in the flesh was so that I stay grounded. It was so that I don’t boast in my intellect but in God’s grace.” In other words, he is saying, “If it were not for this trial, I would be very prideful. But God made sure that I stayed humble by sending me this trial. Through this trial, I can continue to preach the gospel and be a blessing to millions of people. I never would have been any good to anyone without it.” Do you see? There is no humility without trials. Trials help us realize how much we need God. And that’s what makes us spiritually mature. I love the way Tim Keller puts it. “Affliction is how we move from abstract knowledge of God to a personal encounter with him.” Trial is often how we move from knowing about God to knowing God personally.

Can you see now why James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials? James is not telling us to put a smile on our faces and pretend like everything is awesome when we are facing trials. We are not joyful because trials are good times but because we know what they will produce. It’s like a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman knows she faces nausea and painful childbirth. But she rejoices because she looks past the pains of the process and sees the end, the birth of her child. So it is with us in our trials. We rejoice because no trial, no sorrow, no struggle is outside of God’s plan. God is using every trial to make us grow in Christlikeness. And listen. There is no shortcut to Christlikeness. The path to spiritual maturity is extremely difficult. If we think following Jesus will give us a better life, give up that idea. If we think trusting Jesus equals fewer trials, we get it wrong. Trusting Jesus will lead us to various trials.

And knowing this changes the way we face trials. Most of the time when we go through trials, our goal is just to get through as soon as possible, right? Our goal is to fix the circumstances, to get things to where they are supposed to be, just the way we want. And if that is our goal in trials, we won’t count it as joy. We are in for endless frustration and worry in our trials. But when our goal is to grow in Christlikeness, then no matter how dark the trials are, we know that our goal is going to be achieved. Because God is constantly working in our trials to make us mature and complete in him. So, friends, we can’t avoid trials, but we can choose how we respond to trials. What we need is to have God’s perspective. Having God’s perspective does not change our circumstances, but it does change us, allowing us to face our circumstances for the glory of God. We can count it all joy when we face trials because we know the good and sovereign God is at work in our trials to make us more like Christ. But having God’s perspective in trials does not come automatically. We need God’s wisdom.

Trust in God’s wisdom

James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

The second thing we need to face trials in life is to trust in God’s wisdom. Why do we need God’s wisdom? Because oftentimes we do not know what God knows. We cannot see what God sees. Especially during trials. Trials often make us feel disoriented. We often feel like our trials are meaningless and purposeless, right? We feel lost. We don’t know what to do. Trials and confusion tend to go together. That’s why we need to ask God for wisdom, and we need to trust his wisdom. What we need to face trials is wisdom. And James is not talking about generic wisdom here. He is specifically talking about wisdom in facing trials. In this context, wisdom is the ability to see trials the way God sees them and make decisions accordingly. Why do we need wisdom in trials? Because what makes trials extremely hard is not the trials themselves but what we tell ourselves about the trials; how we interpret the trials.

Let’s say there is this motel room, room 888. And there is a couple on their honeymoon night, and you say, “How would you like to stay in this room?” They walk in, look around, and they say, “This room is horrible. Give me a better room.” A few minutes later, there is a man who had been convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, and you bring that man up into the same room and say, “How would you like to stay in this room?” He looks around and says, “This is awesome. Thank you.” There was a couple who looked at the room and said, “This is awful. I deserved better.” Someone else walked into the very same room and said, “This is wonderful. I can’t ask for anything better.” Why? They interpreted it differently. They received it from different perspectives. They had different expectations of what they deserved. And James is saying the main reason we can’t bear our trials is because we do not have the wisdom to receive it. That’s why we need to ask God for wisdom.

The first principle of wisdom in the Bible is to know that we don’t have wisdom. We talked about this in our series on wisdom last month. The way we know someone is a fool is a fool thinks he is wise in his own eyes. The way we know someone is wise is a wise person thinks he is not wise. So, if we don’t think we are a fool, we are a great fool. The main thing that crushes us when we face trials is if we are sure we know exactly how life works best if we are in charge. In other words, if when trials come, we say, “I know how my life should be and this isn’t it,” we will be crushed. But the mark of wisdom is to know that we are not wise. To know that we don’t know what’s best. To know that God is infinitely wiser than us. So, we say, “God, I don’t know very much. I know very little. But you know all things. So, help me to see what you see. Help me to know what you know.” That’s the mark of wisdom. Trials are supposed to make us feel that we need God’s wisdom and ask God for it.

And when we do that, here is what James says. “God will give wisdom generously to all without reproach.” So, when we come to God and ask him for wisdom, God is not going to say, “Okay. Fine. I am going to give it to you, but you should have listened to me in the first place.” No. There is no shame, there is no condemnation, there is no disapproval when God gives us wisdom. There is no, “Ck ck ck… I told you…” He gladly gives wisdom generously. No one has to be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to ask God for wisdom. Just ask and God, the one with infinite wisdom, will give us the wisdom we need. And this is the only promise in the Bible where God says if we ask, we will receive without fail – wisdom in trials. So, when we are in trials and we can’t see what’s next, God says, “Just ask me and I’ll help you see. I’ll lead you every step of the way. I am not stingy with my wisdom. I give wisdom generously to all who ask.”

But there is a condition in receiving God’s wisdom. James 1:6-8 – But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. When we ask God for wisdom, we must not doubt that he will give it to us. James is not saying that if we doubt, we must say to ourselves, “I believe… I believe… I must believe…” and work ourselves up into a state of absolute belief. That’s not what James is saying. The word doubt and the word double-minded are from the same Greek word ‘dipsychos’ which means a person of two minds, a person with divided loyalties. It means when we ask God for wisdom, we are not sure whether we actually want it or not. We are of two minds. One day we want wisdom from God, the next day we rely on our own wisdom. We ask God for wisdom, but we refuse to trust God’s way. This is not about intellectual doubt; this is about wholehearted devotion to God.

Let me put it this way. We need to trust God not only as the composer of our lives but also as the conductor of our lives. Do you know the difference between a composer and a conductor? A composer is the one obsessed with creation while a conductor is the one obsessed with performance. A composer creates, and a conductor performs. And a conductor makes a big difference in how the orchestra does. You can have the same instruments, same musicians, same place, same skills, same symphony, but different in sound because the conductor changes. The conductor set the pace, tone, the timing of everything in the symphony. If the conductor is not good, the orchestra is bad. But if the conductor is really good, the orchestra is heavenly. Listen. We know that God is the composer of our lives. The question is, who is the conductor of our lives? Because that makes all the difference. We must have a conductor in our lives. But who is it? Is it God? Or is it us? In orchestra, our role is to trust the conductor. Trust that the conductor knows what he is doing, even though we don’t. And a lot of times, it doesn’t make any sense. But a good conductor knows how to take different instruments and different sounds and turn them into something majestic.

Here is my point. If we want God’s wisdom in our trials, we must trust him both as the composer and the conductor of our lives. We must put all our confidence in him and do things his way. We can’t put our feet in two different boats: God and us. If we do that, we are unstable and we will not receive anything from God. There is no inner restfulness because we still think that it is up to us to make it work. On Sunday, we pray to God to fix our problems, but on Monday, we take matters into our own hands. On Sunday, we say, “God, I need your wisdom in my marriage.” But on Monday, we try to manipulate our spouse to get what we want. On Sunday, we say, “God, I need your wisdom for my finances.” But on Monday, we cheat on our taxes. We are asking God for wisdom, but we are not trusting him to conduct our lives. Do you see? The question is not whether God will give us wisdom or not. He will give us wisdom when we ask. The question is, will we trust God’s wisdom? Will we trust his way? If we ask God for wisdom but refuse to trust his way, we are doubting God. We are double-minded. And we will not receive anything from him. With God, it is all in or nothing.

Does it mean if we trust God’s wisdom in our trials, we do nothing? Of course not. Trusting God’s wisdom is not passive; it is active. But we are active in a way that is dependent on God. That means we refuse to step outside of God’s words in facing our trials, and we leave the outcome to God. We ask God for wisdom, and we submit to God’s will. In other words, if we were praying before, keep praying. If we were reading the Bible before, keep reading the Bible. If we were serving before, keep serving. If we were obeying God before, keep obeying. If we were going to MC before, keep going to MC. Continue to do what is right and ask God for wisdom. Trust God one step at a time. One decision at a time. Stay put and wisdom will come to us. And we will find that we will get humbler. We will get kinder. We will get more faithful. God’s wisdom is the second thing we need to face trials.

Look to God’s reward

James 1:9-11 – Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Here is what we know about trials. Trials have a levelling effect, don’t they? James is saying to the lowly or the poor, “When you face trials, I know it is easy to think that you will do better if you have more resources. You wish that you have money to deal with your trials. But don’t do that. But rather remember how rich you are in Christ. Remember how high Christ has exalted you. You are a child of the King of the universe. Boast in your exaltation and trust in Christ.” And to the rich, James is saying, “When you face trials, remember the depth which Christ has rescued you from. Your riches cannot save you. Your wealth will perish. And if you continue to pursue riches, you will also perish. But you didn’t know that because your riches made you feel powerful. But trials bring you down and show you how helpless you really are. It reveals to you that you are utterly bankrupt spiritually. It humiliates you so that Christ can save you. So, boast in your humiliation and trust in Christ.” And how can they do that? Wisdom. Only God’s wisdom can make the poor boast in his exaltation and the rich in his humiliation. Only God’s wisdom can make them see their situation from God’s perspective.

And look at what happens next. James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. So, perseverance in trials not only produces maturity in us, but it also brings eternal reward, the crown of life. When you hear the word ‘crown,’ don’t picture Queen Elizabeth or the crown worn by her. James is talking about a crown, a wreath that was put on an athlete’s head at the end of a race that he has won. That’s the image here. Someone who is running a hard race, getting to the end as a victor, then given a crown as a reward. A crown of life is promised for those who endure trials in life and love God. Don’t miss it. For all who love God, we can rejoice in trials because we know what is coming at the end of our race. We know that trials will not have the last word over our lives. We can rejoice in trials because we know God is using trials to mature us and he will reward us. And listen. Knowing what’s coming doesn’t make trials less painful, but it does make trials bearable. We know that as we hold fast to our faith, one day we are going stand before God. Then God is going to put the crown of life on our heads. He is going to wipe away all our tears. He is going to tell us, “From this moment forward, there will be no more trial. All your trials are over. All your pains are no more. There are no more sleepless nights. No more heartaches. No more conflicts. No more loneliness. No more broken dreams. No more deaths. No more fear. All you have is everlasting joy. From this moment until forever more.” That’s what’s coming for all who remain steadfast. Keeping our eyes on God’s reward helps us to face trials in life. So, what do we need to face trials in life? We need to have God’s perspective, we must trust in God’s wisdom, and we need to look to God’s reward.

Here is my final thought and I am done. How can we be sure that trials will make us better? Because trials don’t automatically make us better; they can make us bitter. Trials can make us kinder or meaner. They can make us more selfless, or they can make us more self-absorbed. There are many people who walk away from the Christian faith because of trials. So, how can we be sure that we are getting better instead of getting bitter in our trials? There is only one way. We have to see Christ’s steadfastness toward us. Let me put it this way. I love Iron Man in the Avengers End Game so much. Do you know why? “I love you 3000.” I couldn’t help but be moved when I saw Iron Man sacrifice his life for the sake of his loved ones. Iron Man had a choice to make. He can choose to live, or he can choose to endure the pain and die to save his loved ones. He chose, “I love you 3000” and he died. I was moved to tears when I watched it. But I have a better example for you.

Hebrews 12:2 – looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. The word endure is the same Greek word ‘hypomone’ that is translated as steadfastness in James. The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus remained steadfast in the greatest trial in the universe. All the weight of God’s eternal justice for sin came down on Jesus. All the punishment we deserve for all the sins we did was poured out on Jesus. Jesus faced the cosmic trial and he remained steadfast. He stayed. He did not move. He could have. Jesus had the authority and the right to walk away from the cross. But he didn’t. He endured the cross to the end. Why? For the joy that was set before him. What joy? The joy of putting the crown of life upon our heads. The only way for us to have the crown of life over our heads is for God to forgive us and welcome us. And the only way for God to forgive us and welcome us is for Jesus to remain steadfast on the cross. That is the gospel. And knowing the gospel is the only way we can remain steadfast in our trials and get better. If we only say, “I have to remain steadfast in my trials so I will become better,” that’s not going to work. It is only a matter of time before we crumble. But if we see Jesus endured the cross for us, if we see Jesus remained steadfast for us, we can say, “Because Jesus persevered for me, I can persevere in my trials. I know I am not alone. Jesus is with me in my trials. I know he will never ever let go of me because he endured hell for me. He took what I deserved so I could receive the crown of life.” Do you see? The gospel assures us that Jesus is not only in control over our fiery trials, but he is also with us in our fiery trials. He absorbed the fire of God’s judgement so that we will not be burned in the fire but refined. That’s what makes us better through trials.

Let me end with this wonderful quote from Charles Spurgeon. “You often think that Jesus does not care because he has not interposed with a great miracle. Gradually you are getting poorer or becoming more afflicted in body. My dear friend, sometimes God works a greater wonder when he sustains people in trouble than by delivering them. To let the bush burn with fire and not be consumed is a greater thing than quenching the flame and saving the bush.” Let’s pray.

Discussion questions:

  1. What struck you the most from the sermon?
  2. Do you lean more towards feeling angry or despair when you face trials?
  3. Why do you need God’s wisdom in your trials?
  4. What is the difference between receiving God’s wisdom and trusting God’s wisdom? Give examples
  5. How does the gospel make you better through trials?
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