“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3)
Many of us read Jame’s comment about suffering and simply don’t believe it, and those who do believe often feel frustrated and defeated because they don’t see the result he promised. To see these trials produce results in our lives, we need to undergo a radical reorientation. In the Kingdom of God, they can get in the way of what God truly values. He treasures our faith in Him through thick and thin but He knows faith is built most effectively in times of difficulty. For that reason, God, our loving and attentive Father, allows or orchestrates problems in our lives so that we learn to trust Him.
Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Perseverance is the unswerving, deliberate, and loyal attitude towards faith in the face of suffering.
Suffering takes all kinds of forms. Not having what we want or having what we don’t want, every obstacle, annoyance, and genuine heartache in our lives is part of God’s curriculum to produce persistent, tenacious, rich, deep trust in Him. Patience isn’t killing time until we experience more personal peace and affluence. It’s riveting our affections on God and His purposes every moment of every day.
Our future glory awaits us when we face our trials and sufferings with joy. In Jesus, we have eternal life, access to our Father, and atonement for our sins. We share in his holiness and righteousness, but also in the trials that bring suffering.
We struggle against the trial by standing firm in our faith and by letting the Lord lead us into maturity.
Let us pray…
Thank you for your gift of joy during this time of trial. You call me to stand firm and then you plant my feet on solid rock. You are my rock and refuge and you’re also my joy. I take joy in knowing the power of your grace to transform me.
Help me to come through this with more joy. Forgive me for doubting you. I know you never leave and never forsake, but you’re with me always. Help me to find my joy in you. You are mighty to save, you delight in me, and yours is the victory. I give you glory and look to you for joy in my trials. In Jesus’s name, Amen.