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
When you’re struggling to make ends meet…When you hear the dreaded diagnosis from the doctor…When a relationship is failing…when we are living through a trial and left asking why, God is near. Need a reminder?
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
So why trials? Why now? And if we believe that “all things do work for the good for those who are called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28), then what is the purpose of our struggles?
As James opens his letter, he delivers a word of encouragement for the trials we face, In fact, he states that we should count them (the trials) as sources of joy! Certainly, he wasn’t advocating seeking out the pain found in the trials of life, but he was even more concerned about what trials bring out of us. When we face a trial or a type of persecution we can be joyful because a tested faith is a faith that is strengthened. It is at this kind of time that we lean on the truth of God’s word when it is less than popular.
According to James, there is a progression of our faith when we face trials –
- Testing produces a faith this is determined or resolute,
- When steadfastness has reached its full effect in our lives, our faith will lack nothing,
This evening I listened to a group of men discuss their own “trials,” Each one of us is experiencing something right now, Will you embrace the trial for what it can mean for the perfection of your faith?