“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 HCSB
In the book of James, he says, “WHEN” we face trials, not IF we face trials. In other words, we will face trials during our lifetime. We have all endured trials. Some of us are enduring trials right now.
Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. We will all have trials again, and again.
When we do face trials, James says we should count it all joy. When our world is upside down in suffering and pain, this idea seems crazy to our human mind and body. But true joy does not stem from our circumstances, but rather from our trust and relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. James is not saying we have to pretend there is no pain in the trial. But, he is saying we should practice patience in action and look for the positives in the situation.
What is God revealing in the situation?
Many times God is trying to teach us something specific through our trials:
- We can learn and nurture patience through trials.
- We can realize our true character under pressure
- We can grow in our faith. We can learn to nurture our time with God.
- We can cultivate a stronger prayer life.
- We can recognize places of unforgiveness or brokenness in our lives.
What other positives might God show us through trials?
God can reach and teach others through our trials. Think about Paul’s time in prison. In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us of how he endured the hardship of being in prison. He took that bad situation and made it good. He made it for God’s glory. Paul looked beyond his trial and beyond himself. He saw the prison guards despair. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, he sang praises to God. He encouraged the guards and shared the gospel. He led them to Jesus! That is counting it all joy in action, my friends.
Let’s count our joys and always reflect our Light.
Like Paul, we should look for ways to demonstrate our faith regardless of our circumstances. We are lights for Jesus. There is a testimony within our trials.
Thank you for the eternal salvation and peace you make available to each one of us through your son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Father, I pray each person reading this devotion has received your gifts and is trusting in You. May we all experience your peace and joy that surpasses all understanding, even in our hardest and darkest of days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.