James Online Bible Study Week 6

By January 1, 2012James

Welcome to online bible study as we discuss week six of James, Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. On day one we considered the idea of hoarded wealth paying for the trial against the hoarder. It reminds me of the husband who skims money from his weekly paycheck and makes deposits to a hidden bank account, unknown to his wife. When he loses his job, the hoarder is forced to live off the hidden money to provide for his family and his hidden wealth is used against him. Beth asks “Where is the line between saving and hoarding?” How much can the wife spend on her children and family, without crossing the line and displeasing God? I believe the difference is in the heart. Repent and confess that everything you own is His alone and to be used for God’s purpose, not yours. In the last days, she who has the most toys does not win… if she hoarded and gave nothing to others in need, or served herself and not the Kingdom. It’s time to stop pledging allegiance to the hope of prosperity and shed some “fear tears” in the name of the Lord, writes Beth.

We learned on the second day about the suffering of God’s faithful children. Beth makes this powerful statement: “The end He desires to bring about is never just for those involved. It’s also for those who hear. For those who see.”  If you are in the midst of suffering, know there is a bigger picture than your fiery trial. Know that others will see God in you and through your actions and outcome. There is a bigger picture that this earthly world. It’s critical that we know Jesus in order to see and hear and sometimes, just to survive a Job challenge. In a cluttered world, God will be visible to those who believe.

On the third day of our study we examined vows and oaths from a spiritual perspective. When Beth shared the story of Dodie and the toenails, I cried my eyes out for her pain. Then I sent up prayers for both friends and praised God for their eternal friendship as sisters in Christ. I’ll never look at my toenails without thinking of Beth and her vow.

In Memory of Dodie

The last two days of this week’s study were powerful and intense and Beth “nailed it” with her teaching style. She summarized the nine lessons of James: be still, trust God, hold your tongue, be patient, count it all joy, submit, confess, rest in Christ and pray. She suggested these nine elements are the key on having a healthy soul, in addition to the three bonus points:

  1. Lose the victim mentality
  2. When you feel powerless, don’t let anyone tell you there’s nothing you can do
  3. LIVE LIFE WITH GOD

With that, I’m ready to replay the fireworks of New Years Eve…you nailed it Beth!

This week I read about vows… on a day when the world is making New Year resolutions. I read about asking church elders to pray when you are sick… on the same day a pastor of my church saw I was sick and posted a prayer on my Facebook page. I read about praying for yourself…when a month ago I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to “ask for what YOU need, not always for what others need.” If James, the brother of Jesus, doesn’t convict you to make some changes and see the world differently, then you need to pray over this and re-read the lessons beginning to end. James Mercy Triumphs is rich with knowledge. Absorb it like a sponge. Encourage others to push through the difficult language or complex format and dig for the meat….it’s there between page one and 213. It’s worth the spiritual warfare we went through to get here the past six weeks…and next week we’ll finish with the last chapter. God is good, always.

Prayer Requests

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Beth Moore Quotes

  • Neither demonic harassment nor self-condemnation originate with God or bring Him honor.
  • Satan is ecstatic when we make a vow we don’t keep.
  • Relationships can never be stronger than the bond of trust between them.
  • Helplessness is its own form of demoralization.
  • Fellowshipping with Christ in our suffering guards it from purposelessness.
  • Open your heart wide to the next call to prayer.
  • confession silences the taunts of our accuser, makes our hearts clean, and makes our souls well.

For Next Week

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )
  2. On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
  3. How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )
  4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 33 Comments

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson. The elephant in the room page 160-161. Page 176 at the bottom.

  • Julie says:

    Technology has given us easy access to people, things and supports the “I need it NOW” mentality. People try to create their destiny and obtain it without the work or allowing God to heal or not heal here on earth. People don’t wait on God, they don’t allow God they instead put their hopes and fears in the evil one. I know sometimes I can get so down and frustrated with a situation that I am dealing with and the constant prayer of the same things. These lessons truly gave me the freedom to trust and understand that God has healed, it is different than I had thought the results would be but that I am truly healing and God is molding me into the New Me! I need to continue to pray to God for healing from my sin, sickness, distraught and pain. And he does heal, he does save…. Living Life with God does provide a healthy soul!

  • Carin says:

    Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture.

    Everything is about right now!! When I was growing up there were no atm machines. We had to go to the bank and get cash. I don’t even remember if my parents even had a credit card when I was little. Now everything is about using credit cards. Using them even if you do not have the money to pay it back. Getting it now and paying little by little. I am learning that God will provide if you only have patience. He knows the desire of your heart but he wants to provide but we need to wait on him!

    On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
    Yes, financially many many times!!

    How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did?

    No I have not personally ,but the story was sad beyond words.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    This week was a good lesson. The saving vs hoarding was an eye catcher for me. As my husband & I are close to paying off our credit card debt from his lack of employment I am adamant that we focus on giving & saving then living off the rest. So the question for us is how much do we give and how much do we save. This was a good lesson for me to pray about!!
    Also the story Melissa had on calling on the elders to pray for her. That was an amazing story too!

  • Victoria says:

    Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )
    My 3 reasons were: a) Immediate Satisfaction/Gratification Issue, b) Technology-text, e-mail, internet, c) Fast Food, Lube Express, Quick CarWash, etc.

    On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
    Yes! When Josh changed jobs because we thought it would be better…turns out, it was much worse and God beckoned us to return to His Will by re-opening Josh’s previous position! The grass isn’t always greener on the other side!

    How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )
    OMG! This lesson really hit me! LET MY WORD BE MY BOND! And the fact that “swearing to….” only shows how un-trustworthy we are! I had never thought of it that way before!
    And the only thing I could think of ever doing close to a vow is between me and one of my best friends from school; Amy and I had promised to be there (God willing) when our children were born…I made it to her first born son’s birth shortly after we reconnected through FB…prior to that we had not talked in a few years, and so, she was not there for my first born. But, she did come to see us when we had our second born. She lives in the Panhandle of Texas and I live in Central Arkansas. 🙂

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    I really really enjoyed Day 3 regarding vows. It just really stuck with me! And the thought ath God is our health on page 176! And to run with God always! Not just through our suffering! I love the paragraph that states He is your life, and not just at the top of our priority list: He should be in every aspect of our lives!
    Day 5 on Prayer was a much needed lesson…I do not pray as I should and I am now making a great effort to converse with God, often and openly!

    WOW! James has opened my eyes and my heart in many ways over the past weeks!

    • Christine says:

      Wow…re-opening Josh’s previous position? Congratulations!!

      • Victoria says:

        Yes! I think it was back in the early summer, he switched companies, thinking that the pay and bonuses would be great for our family, and the company would be a better one…after all, it is the same company that I work for, just a totally different area and department. Turns out that the job was terrible, his co-workers treated him badly and he did not feel safe at all.
        His co-workers from the other company called him every day for about 3 weeks, begging him to return to work with them. Josh ended up on bed rest during the heat of the summer after dehydration from being over worked caused him to have some blood pressure problems, causing both legs to swell tremendously. (Shortly after, he also suffered from kidney stones.)
        So after about 4 weeks on the new job, we decided that it was time to go back where we were supposed to be, and God had left the door open for Josh to re-enter, on a different crew, but at the same level with no changes to pay or schedule.
        And about 2-3 months ago, he also received a promotion!
        God is so good! Even to His prodigal children! 🙂

  • Lexi says:

    I loved the video session for Week 6. Her list of appropriate times to turn joy into gloom was so convicting. I realize that I often don’t take God seriously. I want to pick and choose the wonderful promises in Scripture but I don’t want to heed all the warnings. It also hit home when she talked about ridiculing the oddities of others and how many even within the faith, like to poke fun at differences. It’s so easy to compare ourselves! Something to watch for!

    In Day 1, the quotes about hoarding-having and not using-were convicting especially at Christmas season! We did some cleaning out of closets this past week and some donating. We are truly blessed with so much in our culture that it’s easy to overlook how little others have.

    My favorite day was day 2. I loved reading about Job and how the Lord boasted in him! Wow! What an honor that the Lord would choose someone as an example of faithfulness. That I might be one of those! I needed the reminder not to rush God-that sometimes we’re in training-and that we can rush ahead of Him but be miserable without Him. Lately I have been trying to rush ahead of Him. We live in an area of the country where my hubby’s job brought us. I don’t like it here and I’ve struggled with my attitude. We know the company will move us at some point but I’ve been so impatient to get out. God’s timing is perfect though and I’ve got to slow down and wait on it. I know I don’t want to be somewhere outside of God’s will for me.

    And I loved that God sometimes allows testing to prove His boasts in us and to prove it to ourselves. God can get us through if we’d just rely on Him and persevere. I need a good dose of that perseverance right now.

  • Sue Alice says:

    2. I had a prodigal run in my teen years and than later in my life. In my teen years my parents got divorce and I just became unmanageable. No one could control me, I just about hated everyone including God. I got into lying, shoplifting, ran away from home to CA, alcohol, and sex. I spent along time on the street doing things no one should to survive. My family did not hear from for over two years. I finally came back to IN and lived with my mom, went to nursing school, found a job, and became somewhat responsible. I still was a party girl, I still had sex and drank like a fish. I was now in my thirties, early and had not learned my lesson. God had kept me safe and out of jail for all these years, and I STILL ran from him. Than my mom died in 1985 and everything came to a stop for me. Mom was not around for me to run to for help anymore, and I was alone, no one in my family really cared for me. So, I had to do it all without help….live. So, to make a LONG story short…….I was in the mall one day and a kind lady come up to me and asked what was wrong…….I was going to say “everything is okay”, but the damn broke and I poured out my story. She had me come home with her for a few days, and we talked. I went to her church and the rest is history. Thanks to her I finally came home to the Lord. I have a lot of regrets over the things I did back than and to my family. I still backside, but I an so glad I came home to God.

    Thank you for reading this and I hope I did not offend anyone. Blessings to all.

  • Glynis says:

    I agree, too, that patience is much more difficult when you can get anything you want instantly. We carry lifetimes’ worth of information at our fingertips, we feel entitled to be waited on the minute we walk into a store; our work worlds and our leisure worlds are both so fast-paced that the idea of slowing down is completely foreign.

    My most convicting moment this week was the reminder that praying is NOT doing nothing. No matter how long I’ve been a believer, I have a difficult time with prayer. I”m a “doer”, so prayer feels like doing nothing to me. Every year I resolve to spend more time praying, but I always end up talking about praying more than actually praying! It’s something He and I are working on together 🙂

  • Barbara says:

    2.On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?

    Many years ago, 19 this month to be exact, God and I had a major falling out. Really Major. Bless his heart, with the way I cursed and hollered at him, if I had BEEN him lightning would have been involved. This particular falling out had to do with my twin sons, who passed away at birth. So, I went about my business, turned my back on the Father and figured, hey, if he did that to me I didn’t want to be his friend. Seems this should be followed by some giant event that brought us back together, but no, didn’t get an event. Life went on, day by day, He blessed me with two more children, I had a daily schedule, I moved on and figured I had this life thing. I was happy on some days, but rarely joyful. I was busy on some days, but rarely fullfilled. I was quiet some days, but never peaceful. My children hit toddlers years, my husband hit insane and then me, there was chaos everywhere, and no where an answer. Fast forward a couple years, my marriage is over, I have an 8 yo, 3 yo and 2 yo, no family support, no job. But what I did find I still had was God. Peace returned. Joy returned. Purpose returned. When I finally accepted the hurt and heartbreak of the original event, when I finally made my Peace with God, all became right in my world again. While outwardly it looked like everything had fallen apart, in truth it had all come together. God was still where I left him, with open arms and a loving heart. He brought me back into those arms and provided me with all that I could ever need to heal and be whole again. I finally understood that hurt is a part of life, and while we cannot avoid all pain, he is there to hold and comfort us through it. All these years later it still hurts, and forever will. But the years of living dry without God taught me that no pain is worse than the pain of loneliness caused by the absence of the Father. It is a empty, dry place, with no future. I do not wish to ever again live outside his presence, it is a black and cold place where only despair resides. I prefer the light, yes, it does come with trials and tribulations, but it also comes with warmth, hope, companionship and love. Most of all, it comes with love.

  • Marietta says:

    1. Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )

    We are always striving to get everything done in a short period of time and interruptions/distractions cause us to feel impatient.

    2. On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?

    Yes. My Christian life has been rather on-again, off-again. I’m so glad God is merciful and I pray for Him to remind me daily of my need for Him.

    3. How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )

    I believe that integrity and faithfulness all hinge on being trustworthy, doing what you say you will do and being dependable. I don’t think an oath is necessary if one is consistent in their saying and their doing.

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    I identified with Beth’s statement on the bottom of p. 181. “Sometimes, Beloved, it takes more faith to feel forgiven than it does to feel healed.” Some things from my past keep popping up and condemning me even though I have prayed for and I believe that I have received forgiveness.

  • Mindy says:

    1.Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )
    Like others have said, our society is so busy/rush/multi-task that we have no time for anyone or anything if it’s not in our planned out agendas.

    2.On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
    Yes, years ago I was in a relationship I knew God didn’t want me to be in but I was willful, and it ate at my heart. I was indeed miserable until I let it go and stood in God’s light again.

    3.How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )
    I haven’t made a vow or oath – I will when I marry, but I haven’t yet. I loved Beth’s story – absolutely precious.

    4.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    I have sometimes felt that certain sufferings came “because of” something in your past. I enjoyed reading Beth’s scriptural confirmation on p 181 that “”Neither this man nor his parents has sinned… This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him” John 9?3

  • Amy S. says:

    I was so blessed by Session Seven. It sure has been a dry season for me that has felt at times like my rain just isn’t going to get here. I spent so much time rewinding the video this week, writing many of Beth’s quotes on my viewer guide. One that I really love is, “Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit; you and I demand a holy spurt!” Whoa! Let’s just say I can relate to that one. I am absolutely going to copy the craft project with the cloud that Beth talked about this week, and I’m going to hang it in my office: “1 Kings 18:44. I’m looking for one small cloud.” I know my rain is coming! I’m believing God for it between the rains.

    • Christine says:

      I loved this quote too Amy, and the was Beth says it is so powerful and convicting!

      “Jesus has given us His Holy Spirit; you and I demand a holy spurt!” Beth Moore

  • Rhonda says:

    1.Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 )
    We live in an instant gratification society. Credit cards have allowed us to have what we want now and pay later It is hard to live in a society where more is better and not get caught up in it. I think being unemployed for the past few months have helped me view the need to have constantly new things to feel good about my life has changed my outlook entirely
    2.On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?
    Fortunately I have never had this experience an pray I never will!
    3.How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 )
    I had never really given much thought to taking a vow or oath and the solemnity involved other than when I got married, but I will be thinking about the seriousness involved in taking a vow in the future. I am thankful for this study of James and the way it has caused me to rethink so many things in my life. I feel ashamed that I have been so unaware of what the Bible says on so many important subjects, even though I have been involved in Bible studies for so many years.
    4.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.
    See above

  • Susan says:

    1.Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163 ) Technology has certainly changed our lives. I call it the microwave age. We seem to want everything immediately or instantly. Life just doesn’t work that way. Sometimes our schedules can become overloaded and those quick meetings can drag on for hours which can interfere with other commitments. We can become impatient due to traffic delays.
    2.On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run? Oh yes. Many years ago in my 20’s during the I’ll do it my way stages.
    3.How do you feel about making a vow or oath? Have you ever done anything similar to what Beth and Dodie did? (page 172 ) I wasn’t aware of the difference between in two. Made a childhood promise but never an oath or vow.
    4.Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson. Pg 178 – Prayer can prime the well of our souls to a bath of His beautiful presence. It is ofen the most determining factor in whether, in our anguish, we sink or swim.

  • Emily M says:

    1. We live in a “get it now & give it to me fast” society. Everyone is always in a rush, no time for patience. This is definitely hard in our current culture.
    2. I can’t say that I’ve been on a “prodigal run” before but I can tell when I skimp out (or skip altogether) in my quiet time, devotion, & Bible reading that those days seem miserable, just plain crummy. God has wired us with a craving only He can fulfill and if we don’t get our daily dose, we’re gonna be cranky (kind of like my morning without coffee. Haha!)
    3. I take vows & oaths very seriously. I like how Beth explained the verses & their meaning more in depth. I take marriage vows and etc seriously, but I am guilty of “I promise I won’t say a word” or “you can trust me” but maybe not necessarily keeping my word! Got to watch the tongue & promise making!
    4. I liked the reminder about how important it is to pray. I lack in this area. I read my Bible, complete my devotions & studies but I don’t spend quality time talking & listening to God through prayer. This is a new focus of mine for 2012. I really liked the summary of “Keys for a Healthy Soul” & the “God is …” quote on pg 176. I liked the reminder of being gracious. I’m going to try the “Get & Give”. If I get something new, I’m going to give something away. But what I LOVED most from this week was the reference to Job. I can relate. I feel like sometimes the closer I walk with God, the more tests & trials I face. I know that because I stand firm & faithful, I have earned an enemy who is out to get me, and especially when I’m down. During a current battle, I could so easily take the “victim mentality” and say “why me?” but pg 166 was such an encouragement! God is allowing me to be tested to prove my faith. Made me think of the song by Laura Story “What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise.”

    • Christine says:

      Oh I love this Emily!!!

      “God has wired us with a craving only He can fulfill and if we don’t get our daily dose, we’re gonna be cranky (kind of like my morning without coffee. Haha!)”

    • Christine says:

      I like what Beth said in the video/audio session about the Devil’s goal…its to kill our faith. Now that I have this perspective, my trials are more understandable and I realize my marriage, relationships, finances, and health are not being tested…it’s my faith that is being tested. God allow it to prove I am faithful and also to refine me like a pearl. As my children sometimes say “beauty is pain.” 🙂

      • Emily M says:

        No pain, no gain! 🙂 I’m with you on this. Trials becomes Triumphs, Tests become Testamonies, and a Mess becomes a Message. (I read that somewhere but can’t remember where!) We’ve just got to hang on tight, remain faithful, ride the storm, and let God lead the way. He will take usout of the valley to the mountain top… in His time.

  • Angie says:

    1. Name a reason why patience might be more challenging in our current culture. (page 163)

    We are inundated with well-planned marketing from every direction telling us what they have to offer will make us happy, rich, skinny, younger, etc. and that we deserve to have it now. Our culture is all about instant gratification and it can definitely make patience more challenging.

    2. On page 164 Beth says “You can try to go without God but, chances are, you’ll come back because if you really have a heart for God you’ll be miserable beyond His blessing.” Have you ever experience the misery of a prodigal run?

    I was a prodigal for about 16 years and it was most assuredly miserable.

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s lesson.

    I loved Day Two – To Prove The Lord’s Boasts. I want to remember this lesson so that I can prove Him right in my future tests and difficulties!

  • Jessica says:

    1) In this current age, technology is ideal since it works fast. I also may become impatient if something is slow or doesn’t work the way I planned it to. I am a college student and sometimes our computers are slow and run out of paper in the printers. Then I start thinking that I may not be able to turn in my work since the computer doesn’t work right. Sometimes technology is irritating!

  • Sue says:

    My favorite section was the reminder that I need to lean on the elders that God has placed me under. The Word did not say that the elders were to come to me but I was to go to them. I know in our church the elders may not even know you are hurting unless you tell them.

  • Penny says:

    I love that Beth shares her personal stories. I have been doing this study without video/audio and I am going to have the opportunity in the spring to attend this study with a group and I am going to repeat. I will answer questions on another post.

  • Crystal says:

    I love all of Beth’s video sessions; they really help to drive the point home for me!
    I have to say though, as I watched this week’s video I felt like Beth was sitting across from me, in my own living room, talking exclusively to me! WHOA!! Without going into all the gory details of my current trial (another Beth message: honesty with modesty), I can tell you “Between the Rains” reached out and touched my soul, re-kindled my spirit, and made me cry tears of sadness and joy all at once. I can’t describe how much I needed reminding that God is with us ALWAYS (he hasn’t moved on!), even when we can’t feel him or see him; and I especially loved and appreciated a reminder that we have “a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!”
    After watching the video 3 times this morning, I couldn’t agree more… God is faithful!

  • Cindy H says:

    1) in this technological age, everything comes fast. I find myself becoming impatient if my internet doesn’t download quickly or something doesn’t go as planned. Last night I threw up my hands in frustration because something I was doing on my computer wasn’t working out the way “I wanted it”. So, yes, in regard to technology, we (I) certainly can become impatient. 🙂
    2) There have certainly been “dry” times in my life where I found myself emotionally running away from God, but thankfully, never for very long.
    3)This “oath” taking segment was very interesting to me, never really taking the time to think about it that much.
    4)On p 176, Beth wrote, “We will run our race on one leg if we only engage with God in our suffering or sickness.” She then went on to say, “God is our song when we are happy, our escape when we are tempted, our hope when we’re despairing, our joy in tribulation, our strength in weakness, and our immortality in dying.” That about says it all for me!

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