Reluctant Followers: When the Going Gets Tough

In our trials, the weight of our circumstances can become louder and more powerful than our realization of God’s promises. That’s why we need the wisdom of God, without which we become unstable doubters who preoccupy ourselves with comparison. Simply stated, when the going gets tough, enduring believers seek wisdom. -Pastor Dave

Open: Describe a time you had to endure a difficult season: As you look back to this time, what were the things that got you through?

Read: James 1:1-12; Job 28:12-23; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 11:14; 12:15; Colossians 2:2-3 1.


1. James uses sarcasm to make an important point. Verse 4 ends with a believer “lacking in nothing” to the beginning of verse 5, “If you lack wisdom.” Are both of these statements true? How can we “lack nothing” but need wisdom? Define wisdom: Describe times in your life you lacked wisdom.

2. How does God respond to our request for wisdom? What does this tell us about God’s character? List different ways we receive wisdom from God.

3. What role does faith play in receiving wisdom for trials? How does doubt make us unstable? Have you ever doubted in the midst of a difficult season? How did God increase your faith in order to overcome the doubts?

4. In what ways do we have a natural tendency to compare in our trials? Why does James use the illustration of riches as a picture of comparison? What predominate ways do you compare today? Why is comparison so dangerous?

5. In 1:12, James seems to consider “life” as a “test” in and of itself. Ultimately, passing the test leads us to a “Crown of Life.” What makes this so significance? How should this encourage us to endure the trials of life and cause our hope to increase?

Pray: Pray that you would endure the trials of life by receiving God’s gifts of wisdom, faith, and unshakable hope.

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