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man taking a test Trials and Tests, James 1:1-12

10 steps to lead a successful small group Bible study. Timeline. Map. Who is James? Go to today’s Bible reading

For the group leader: Create interest by having participants do a fun test

Do any of you have any tests this week in school? What is the purpose of tests - is it to see if you will pass or to see if you will pass out? No, tests test your knowledge to see if you are approved to advance to the next grade or course of study. Tests can be real trials, especially final exams. You sweat, you worry, you agonize over the test, and you ask God for help.

But tests are not found just in a classroom, are they? No, we face many trials and tests in this life. The book of James has something to say about trials and tests.

To whom was the book of James written? James 1:2

Answer 1 (answers are linked to bottom of document)


What trials were these twelve tribes facing? (Acts 7:59-8:4)

Answer 2


What is our attitude about tests? Do we groan and complain? What does James say our attitude should be and why? James 1:2-3

Answer 3


That seems strange. Are we supposed to rejoice in the trials themselves, or are we supposed to rejoice because the trials and testing develop perseverance?

Answer 4


What is the purpose of our trials? James 1:4

Answer 5


How many boys and girls would be good at sports if there were no try-outs for the team? How many doctors, lawyers, or accountants would there be if there were no tests or board examinations? Tests make us better. We may not like them, but tests of our faith also make us better Christians, so we can rejoice that we have them.

James then says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him, (James 1:5).

Does this verse mean that if any of you lacks wisdom for a test in school that you should ask God and God will miraculously give you wisdom, even if you have not studied?

Answer 6


Sometimes we need a tutor to help us, but we don't want it. God is available to be our tutor to help us understand our trials and tests. James 1:6-8 tells us of the necessity of something, however, when we ask God for help. What is it?

Answer 7


What is the point of James 1:9-11? It does not appear to fit.

Answer 8


Are there any rewards for overcoming in our trials and tests? James 1:12

Answer 9


Lessons to live by: (leaders, ask for member's responses first)


Today's Bible memory verse:

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

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A1: To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations.

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A2: The book of James was written primarily to Jewish believers, apparently scattered upon the death of Stephen, the first martyr. The rock of persecution was thrown into the pond of over 5,000 new believers, and they scattered in concentric circles from Jerusalem.

A3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance,” (James 1:2-3, NIV).

A4: because the trials and testing develop perseverance.

A5: “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,” (NIV).

A6: Sorry, no. This verse particularly means that if we do not understand the trials that we are going through, then we should ask God; and then, like a student, we should study the book (the Bible) so we can understand the problems and the solutions and pass the tests.

A7: Faith. James says,

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:6-8, NIV)

A8: Sometimes we may wish we had enough influence so that we would not have to experience tests and trials. But we all have to face them, whether we are rich or poor. The poor and lowly receive a rich inheritance, while rich believers need to learn to walk in humility. Wealth will soon wither away, so we should appreciate eternal values.

A9: Yes, James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (NIV)

Lessons to live by: (my answers)

  • Christians grow spiritually through the persecutions and trials that they suffer.
  • God will help us if we ask him in faith.
  • If we overcome in our trials, we will receive the crown of life for loving God more than the things we may suffer.

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