Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds… ~ James 1:2
READING: James 1:2-6
Trials are an integral part of our ministry journey. They can become a tossing wind against us or a blessing that strengthens our walk with God. It was a tossing wind for Elijah who said, “I have had enough, Lord” (I Kings 19:4). But trials were a blessing for Paul who responded, “… I am ready, not only to be bound, but also to die” (Acts 21:13). Two noteworthy responses from two strong men of God as they encountered times of trial!
TheBookofJames,consideredthefirstwrittenbookintheNewTestament, speaks first about life trials of believers. He advised us to “Regard trials in such a way that you have impeccable joy in them.” Trials have biotic potential to generate faith, develop perseverance, mature character and generate sufficiency in God.
Paul, like James, testifies that his trials became blessings because they brought God’s overflowing comfort, produced patience and endurance and taught him not to rely on himself but on God (II Cor. 1:9). This attitude motivated Paul and Silas to worship in gladness in the Philippian jail.
Christians are promised conquering grace for all our troubles, hardships, persecutions, famines, nakedness, dangers and swords through Jesus who loved us (Rom. 8:16, 17). This biblical interpretation of trials comes from God’s wisdom. James urges us to ask God for wisdom ( James 1:5, 6), in part, so we will interpret trials correctly.
Is it not for us as we face trials even today? Are we seeking for God’s wisdom to interpret trials? Is it not a ladder for us to reach the peak of strength and maturity?
God, Help me to face trials like Paul. Give me wisdom as James exhorts. I know that I need to walk a long way. I need you and your strength. Amen.