“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
A few years ago he lost all he had. Everything. But he found Jesus. He inspires me every time I talk with him. He has embraced God’s word and one of the verses he lives by is this one quoted above from James 1:3 & 4:
“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds. . . “
It’s an un-ordinary challenge to consider trials pure joy! It seems unreasonable. WHY would God include such instruction in the Bible especially at a time when Christians were enduring fierce persecution? Because every trial that comes is an opportunity to prove your faith and to see God at work in you and through you and for you.
HOW can you be joyful in the midst of facing a trial, especially a very difficult trial? Not by pretending to be happy – no – there is no joy in the details of the difficulty. But by persevering in believing God’s promises and resting in the confidence that God is at work. He will carry you and He will give you all you need as you fully trust Him in the trial. Thank Him for who He is. Thank Him for His ability to work all things together for your good and for His glory. God can be trusted with your life. Thank Him for His love. Find the joy in the opportunity to see God at work in amazing ways! Turn down the opportunity to quit or to abandon your faith in the midst of hardship.
Father God, All around me there are trials of all kinds. Many face things that are hard, tragic, and seeming unbearable. This scripture seems to be too trite in the face of such challenges. “Consider it joy”? Lord, right now I don’t understand the trial in my life of ___________(name it)__________. But today I want to change how I see it and to look at it as an opportunity for You to be at work…. in me and through me and for me. Please help me to fully trust Your love and Your care. Please help me to fully trust who You are, my faithful Lord. Today I choose to praise You for Your help and strength and that You are right here in the middle of this trial with me. May my heart rest today in the fact that You can be trusted. You will grow my faith. You will give me all I need. You will BE all I need. Thank you Lord. Please work this all together for my good and for Your glory. It seems impossible but I know You alone can do that. I declare my trust in You alone today. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission
Bloom Where you are Planted – the Diane Willis story
Joy out of Sorrow – Norma Becker’s story
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