Life is filled with many different kinds of trials. I have a couple of friends who broke ankles or wrists this summer. Their broken bones needed to be repaired surgically, the casts and crutches were uncomfortable, and now they are spending hours each week in physical therapy to gain back strength and mobility. This is one of life’s trials. We are taken out of our normal routine and we feel off balance, irritable, out of control, and disconnected from our world.
In the book of James, he offers these words:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” ~James 1:2-4
Let’s take a closer look at these verses.
“Count it all joy when you meet trials” – These words were penned by James (half brother of Jesus) when the early church in Jerusalem was experiencing persecution at the hands of the Jews. Life was not easy for new Christians. Many of them were running from their homes and relocating to other parts of the known world. Some of these Christians even lost their lives.
What is the trial in your life today? Fill in the blank
It might be a situation in your family (spouse, kids, parents) or an issue with health, or a difficult relationship at work. God sees you and He knows exactly what you are dealing with at this moment.
“The testing of your faith produces steadfastness” – The definition of steadfastness is “firm in purpose, unwavering, firmly established.” God uses trials of various kinds to test our faith and this will result in steadfastness. James tells us the steadfast man is blessed and his reward will be the crown of life.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” ~James 1:12
The trials of Job come to mind when I think of a man who did not waver and was firmly established. He kept his eyes on the Lord and acknowledged the sovereignty of God in the midst of his trials (see Job 1:20-21; 42:1-2).
“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” ~James 5:11
Think back to your trial. How are you handling it? What emotions are flooding your heart? God wants to come by your side and walk each step with you today. Yes, the Lord is compassionate and merciful.