James 1:1–4; Romans 5:1–5
1. Read James 1:1-2. Do you think it is realistic or absurd to consider your trials “pure joy” as James proclaims? Do trials—ranging from inconveniences to tragedy—affect your faith? What do you typically do when these events and moments come into your life? Do you run to God? Or do you run to something else?
2. Read James 1:3-4. What are your thoughts on perseverance? Why is it so hard to let perseverance “finish its work” as James says? As mentioned in the sermon, why do we often “run to” those things that are opposite of perseverance?
3. Read Romans 5:1-5. How have you seen Paul’s words on perseverance, and how it leads to hope, play out in your own life or the lives of others?
4. Do you agree with the idea that spiritual maturity has less to do with what you know and more with how you trust God and persevere in the face of adversity? Why or why not?
As you think about the “lemons” in your life (small or large), what is one (or more) thing you think you can do to “let perseverance finish its work”? How can your friends, family and church be of support to you?