A Reason For Joy

The A.R.T. of Survival, Day 1

By Chip Ingram

We live in trying times. All over the globe people are facing trials and tribulation. Perhaps you are too. 

No matter how long you’ve been a Christian, you may be wondering why your faith is being stretched so far, even to the point of breaking. 

We know we’re called to be overcomers in Christ. But for some, the biggest question isn’t about how to overcome. It’s about how to even survive. 

The book of James was written to help a suffering Church. Penned by the half-brother of Jesus Himself, the epistle addresses believers scattered and shaken by persecution who are facing extreme hardship. Like many people today, they needed to know how to survive.

I call James’s teaching the A.R.T. of Survival.

He shows us an Attitude to embrace, a Resource to ask for, and a Theology to understand.

When we choose that attitude, receive that help, and learn to see from the right perspective, we can face any difficult situation with confidence.

Before we begin looking at James’s teachings, let’s remind ourselves of a few truths.

Trials are inevitable. 

Difficulty in a fallen world is a certainty (see 1 Peter 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:12). But through God’s grace we can overcome them (John 16:33).

Trials either make us or break us. 

The Bible is full of characters who chose faith in their most difficult situations and those who compromised or gave up. Suffering either drives people away from God or toward Him.

Those who stay stuck on “why,” stay victim to their pain.

It’s natural to ask “why” questions, but victims don’t get past them. Trusting God is the first step toward being a victorious survivor.

In the next few days, let’s grab hold of God’s promises and refuse to stay stuck! God revealed steps in James that are practical, powerful, and life-changing. They give us everything we need to remain anchored in eternity in an unsettled world. Let’s look at the A.R.T. of Survival. 

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.

James 1:2‭-‬3

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