Sunday I preached on James 1:9-15, and I put in some of the hardest work I’ve ever done on a sermon.

From the late hours spent in prep to the physical exertion of actually preaching it, I wrestled with this passage. But like Jacob, after he had wrestled with God, out of my grappling I received a blessing. The Lord spoke to me through this passage, convicting me about my own responses to difficult situations.

When faced with a challenge, do I turn to him for help, or do I first try to rely on my own resources? That is one of the key questions arising from this text, and it is really the the key to unlocking one of this passage’s greatest difficulties.

The Challenge

In this passage, James talks a lot about trials and temptations. These are not the same. Trials are painful circumstances that test…

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