Joy in Trials

Scripture: James 1:2-4, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, 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.’


Observations: The Apostle James is writing to his fellow Jews who have been ‘scattered among the nations. (v1)’ They have been scattered because they have been persecuted because of their faith (Act 8:1). And so James writes to them and tells them to ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.’ The trials that James is referring to here are more than just persecution, they also include temptation (v13-15). But whatever the source of the trial they should consider it with joy, which sounds counter-intuitive. James is excited about his faith being tested, because such testing ‘develops perseverance,’ so that they may become ‘mature and complete.’ It’s important to note that James doesn’t rejoice in the trial itself, but in its results. If the trial brings him closer to Jesus, if it grows his faith, if it makes him more committed, it is something to rejoice about.


Application: In our society we have an aversion to difficulty. The highest ideals in our culture are comfort and security, not trials and trouble. Maybe our faith is weak because it is untested. Maybe as we put our faith into action, and clash with our culture, that our faith becomes more real. Next time your faith is tested maybe you should see it as an opportunity to stand up for Jesus, to persevere and grow your faith.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I confess that I prefer a comfortable and safe life. I don’t want to face trials or persecution. But Lord, I do want to grow in my faith. I do want to become more like Jesus Christ, mature and complete. And so I ask that I will face any trials You send my way with joy, knowing that You are using them to draw me closer to yourself. Fill me with Your Spirit that such trials might not make me doubt Your love for me in Christ, but that they will make me lean on You all the more. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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