Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Written by: Sarah Gauer
I don’t know about you but when I am going through a difficult time, my first reaction is usually not to “consider it pure joy.” Trials are hard! Sometimes we want to give up in the midst of a challenging situation. We want to do things our way rather than submit to God’s will. We want to do whatever we can to avoid a necessary confrontation. We want to soak in the unfairness of our situation.
Most of the time the easiest option is to avoid painful things. We decide to do nothing; to stay right where we are—free of risks, pain, challenges or trials. Sounds good and comfortable, right?
James explains to us that rather than fearing these trials, we can greet them with joyful confidence because of the growth potential on the other side. It doesn’t mean we have to put on a fake happy face when things are hard. It’s about our hopefulness in what God can accomplish in us through the pain. The times when my faith and my character have most been strengthened are when I have taken a risk or let Jesus lead me through a hard time. And those breakthroughs of faith have been beautiful!
Every trial is an opportunity. When we confront a challenge, we have the opportunity to reach out to God, seek His direction, and then get to work doing what He has for us. As we do this, God can teach and grow us in areas we never would have had the chance to experience without first pushing through the tough stuff.
Thought of the day: What trial are you facing today? What would joyful confidence in God’s plan for you look like in this trial?
Prayer: God, thank You for never wasting a hurt. Thank You that I can have joyful confidence in the way You can grow and mature me through ________ if I will trust and follow You. Help me to maintain this perspective as we walk through the pain together. Amen.