Pain is Inevitable, but Misery is Optional


by Shirley Choat


My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.James 1:2-3


James 1:2 is an interesting verse because it has the phrase “when” instead of “if.” You see, some people think that life is going to be all rose petals and sunlight. If I told you that, I would be speaking from a closed Bible and an empty head.

Whether you are saved or lost, life guarantees one thing – difficulty. Someone once wrote, “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” There will be trials, oppression, and misunderstandings. And when you become a Christian, you do not become immune to these things.

Trials are a part of life, but how Christians behave in response is what causes an unbelieving world to sit up and take notice.

How are you responding this week to the difficulties in your life? Thankful for the opportunity to learn patience? Or resentful for every speed bump your vehicle of life has to pass over? You can tell the size of a Christian by what it takes to stop him.


Open yourself up to accountability on this issue. If you are married, ask your spouse to answer these questions. If you are single, ask a trusted friend: “How would you rate the way I have responded to trials in my life this year on a scale of 1-10? ‘One’ means I’ve been thankful for the opportunity to learn patience, and ‘10’ means I’ve been resentful for every speed bump my vehicle of life had to pass over.” Did you learn anything new about yourself, anything you need to work on?

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