WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?
Introduction: James 4:17
1. This is a good question and a Bible question.
2. Observe that James says, whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
3. As to Duration on earth: This very text says it is a “little time”.
4. As to Destination: That depends on what you believe.
5. As to Explanation: That is what this lesson is all about.
6. The Bible records a lot about life as well a lot about faith. Understanding what it says about life should help us with our faith. Sometimes we get discouraged and our faith weakens because we misunderstand what life on this planet is all about.
7. In this study we will observe three things about life, namely,
A. THE ADVENTURE
B. THE ADVERSITY
C. THE ADVANTAGE
I. THE ADVENTURE
1. Life is an adventure. The word “Adventure” means “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks”; or “an exciting and remarkable experience”
2. Sometimes we feel stressed and at other times we feel blessed, and there seems never to be any complete rest. Most of the time we are stressed and blessed at the same time.
3. And we are all familiar with this lifestyle because it this is the way we all live.
4. Just to let you know how familiar we are with being “stressed out” complete the following sentences:
a. I am ready to throw in the ____________.
b. I am at the end of my ________________ .
c. I am just a bundle of _________________.
d. My life is falling_____________________.
e. I am at my wit’s_____________________.
f. I am about to come un_______________ .
` g. I feel like resigning the human_________.
h. Nobody knows the _____________ I see.
i. Walk a mile in my ________________.
5. The Bible puts it this way when it comes to life, “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1)
6. James says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14).
7. Life is filled with “unknown risks” and is a “remarkable experience”. An “adventure” (if you know what I mean).
8. We sing about it: “Life is filled with swift transition, naught of earth unmoved can stand”.
9. We move from one stage of life to another and each stage is an adventure all its own. Illustration: Grandma Ain’t What She Used To Be.
10. We keep thinking that the next stage is the one. This will be when everything comes together and then life will stable and everything secure. But it never happens for any us. We never know for sure what’s coming or when!
II. THE ADVERSITY
1. Life is also full of adversity. On one occasion, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things” (Lk. 10:41).
2. As Job said, life is of “few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).
3. According to the King James Version, Paul was “troubled on every side” (II Cor. 4:8).
4. Jesus Himself said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (Jn. 16:33).
5. Problems are here and they are here to stay. Our adversary is going to make sure that we have adversity (I Peter 5:8).
6. Satan wants to “sift” us, not “lift” us. “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” could just as easily read “Brother/Sister! Satan has asked…that he may sift you…” (Lk. 22:31).
7. When Paul was in Ephesus there were “many adversaries” (I Cor. 16:8-9).
8. Jesus told His disciples they would have “tribulation” (Jn. 16:33).
9. Remember that it was one of His closest female friends who was “ worried and troubled about many things” (Lk. 10:41).
10. In the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus warned “Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” (Matt. 6:34; NIV)
11. “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. I said “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. No matter what you do or what you say, there are some bad things going to come your way, because “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. No matter what you say or what you do, there are some bad things going to happen to you, because “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”.
12. Life is filled with adversity. Into every life some rain must fall and problems are common to us all.
13. Jesus Himself is described in the Bible as “A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isa. 53:3)
III. THE ADVANTAGES
1. While it is true that life is an adventure, and life is filled with adversity, it is also true that Christian have tremendous advantages.
2. When I think about the word “advantage”, I think about words like benefit,
gain, edge, or upper hand.
3. Christians do indeed have benefits and advantages in life that are not
available to those who are outside the body of Christ.
4. For example, consider the following promises:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Pet. 5:7)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13)
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37).
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I Jn. 5:4)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps. 23:1)
“The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be
strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16)
CONCLUSION: In this session we have observed how that life is an adventure, it is filled with adversity, and how Christians have a tremendous advantage. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).