How does faith work when you are angry? James 1:19-27

Today: soul surgery. HS work in private areas of your life

  1. Who is God? “Father” (1:17, 27)
  2. Who are you? “beloved” (1:16, 1:19, 2:5)

=Life is bad. God is good.


What’s Your Trial?

James 1:2 when you meet trials of various kinds

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial…

  • Big things vs little things???

What’s Your Trial Trigger?

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

  • Anger reveals who/what matters to us
  • Anger is something we both feel & do (word & deed)

#1. Any Unrighteous Anger?

  1. Entitlement
  2. Selfishness – prideful annoyances
  3. Mistakes –  sins vs mistakes
  4. Bitterness & Vengeance – Eph. 4:26 Be angry and do not sin”

VS God’s Righteous Anger – I’M ANGRY but IS GOD?

=Ex. 34:6 “slow to anger” –#1 quoted Bible verse (vs most religions God starts angry)

  • Romans 2:4 “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance”
  • Jesus Emotions – 60X gospels; #1 compassion

Mark 3:5 –religious want Jesus heal Sabbath = condemn —“anger, grieved” (esv, nasb, nkjv), “anger and sorrow” (hcsb), “anger and, deeply distressed” (niv) or “angrily . . . deeply saddened” (nlt)

John 11:33 –death Lazarus & Mary & others weeping — “angry in His spirit and deeply moved” (hcsb), “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled” (nlt)

#2. Any Wrong Speech? – (words outside reveal inside)

  • Tech – Communication is 1. Instant, 2. Constant, 3. Global, 4. Permanent
  • Rage of the day – who/what attack today (fear & anger rule online)
  • Negative Narrative

Slander.         Lying.             False Witness.          Gossip.          “Not my news to tell”

  1. Will you make a point or make a difference?
  2. Will you be a Critic or a Coach? (see vs say)
  3. Will you beat them down or build them up?
  4. Will you win the argument or win the person?
  5. Will you keep private things private or make them public?

1st response is usually the flesh, 2nd response is more likely Spirit

=SO have the talk w/God before you have the talk w/them “ask God for wisdom”



#3. Are You Listening to God & Others – (active not passive)

The Prayer of Saint Francis

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be understood as to understand

Listening & Asking Good Questions

  1. Perspective
  2. Empathy
  3. Relationship: most people don’t need to be agreed with, just heard

= people want this so bad they live online & pay for counseling

Reasons We Don’t Listen Well

  1. Chatterbox – nervously fills the airtime
  2. Critic – only listening for what is wrong
  3. Responder – not listening, thinking about their response
  4. Fixer – rush to give advice/teach
  5. Avoider – does not like bad news or conflict
  6. Goner – distracted mentally or technologically

= I have to take notebook notes to remain focused in a sermon or conversation

What’s Your Trial Trigger Behavior? 

James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

  1. Learning to listen to others starts w/listening to God
  2. It’s fine to study the Bible, if you let it study you
  3. Bible – mirror for you before binoculars for them (Religious self-deception)
  4. Rule of 4
  5. Some people need more Bible. Most people need more obedience. (Puritans)

Luke 11:28 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God & obey it.” (NIV)

=Blessed in…doing”         Marriage                   Friendship 100% success rate

=Gym: exercise?    Vitamins: take them?        Seatbelt: wear?      Bible; obey?

What’s Your Trial Trigger Behavior Result?

James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

1. OTHERS: Helpful like Jesus 1. Informal 2. Formal

2. YOU: Holy like Jesus (set apart, different, oddball freak)

  • Sin – 1. by us 2. us
  • Stain OT & NT some dozen words -Defilement, Filth, Uncleanness

= something you sit in & don’t wash out quickly

EXPIATION  1. Forgiven & 2. Clean – wash self, wash clothes, wear white

Identity: “beloved”; “pure and undefiled before God” “keep oneself unstained from the world”




The Latest Secular Brain Science on Changing a Bad Habit


Old Habit Loop                                             New Habit Loop

1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button

2. Response: Act now!

3. Result: Short and long-term consequences

Over time this becomes an unconscious loop in part of the brain. Forming a new response habit in a new part of the brain requires 1. Mindfulness 2. Meditation 



James 1 on Changing a Bad Habit

A “trial” comes as both a “temptation” to go down in evil (old habit loop), or “test” to go up in faith (new habit loop).”


Old Habit Loop Response to a Trial                                              

1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button to act now!

2. Response: double-minded, unstable, blame God, only hear the Word, anger, unbridled tongue, self-deceived

3. Result: death, pass away, worthless religion


New Habit Loop Response to a Trial                                             

1. Trigger: Anger and fear hit the panic button to act now!

2. Response: count it joy, ask God for wisdom, quick to listen, slow to speak, doer of the Word

3. Result: steadfastness, perfect and complete lacking in nothing, gifts from the Father, blessed, the eternal crown of life

The key to forming a new habit in a new part of the brain is to have the Holy Spirit re-hardwire your brain because you are “beloved” and “pure and undefiled before God”. Do not lose faith when you go back to an old habit loop, but press forward in the Spirit.


Pastor Mark, in this sermon, tackles the ideas of anger, trial triggers, our behavior, and the result of our behavior when we react in anger to trials, based in James 1:19-27.
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