Focal Passage: James 1:2-15
Life can be hard, there’s no denying that. We are faced with sickness, broken relationships, failure, lack and loss. Sometimes we face all of those at the same time. If you’re not in the middle of a difficult situation right now, then you probably know someone who is. Jesus even told His disciples that they would definitely have trouble in this world (John 16:33).
It seems strange that scripture would tell us to consider all our trials as joy. How can we be joyful about things that are so painful? As James is writing to a group of displaced and persecuted believers, he answers this question for us. In our trials, God is doing something holy. As our faith is tested by hardship, God is producing endurance and faithfulness is us. He is growing us up into mature Christians.
As believers, maturity is what we want – it is our goal. We want to be those who are faithful and obedient. We want to be those who trust God. As we persevere through difficulty, this is the type of character produced in us. And being the loving Father that He is, God does not leave us on our own when life gets tough. He knows that we need wisdom to faithfully endure. He promises that if we ask in faith, He will give us all the wisdom that we need.
We must also be careful not to assume that God is somehow tempting us in our troubles.
A sinful response to suffering is not from God, but from a lack of faith in Him. Instead, we rest in the fact that God is present in our trials, providing for us and making us more like Jesus.
We have a great hope, knowing that our present reality is not all that there is for the Christian. We can endure difficult seasons in this life, because we know that there is another life to come.
Until then, we rejoice in the fact that God is present in our trials, providing for us and making us more like Jesus.