Faith Tests {James 1:1-4}

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In the moment when crisis strikes, what do you do?

I have been known to panic, break out in a sweat, have my insides knot, experience the rushing onset of a terrible headache, cry, shout…I could go on, but it’s not a pretty list.

There are some very human reactions we make to adversity. They can be all of the things above and more. Maybe you’ve thrown something, or lashed out. Maybe you have retreated far into yourself, unable to talk. You might have lived minutes, days and hours of sighs, complained, grumbled, wailed…

It would be fair to say that trials are, generally speaking, not something we welcome.

Modern life promotes an easy life. Every part of our existence can be packaged up in some way that makes it easier to bear. We thrive on life’s ‘instants’ and ‘disposables’ because they help us live easy.

Of course, finding solutions to life’s problems isn’t wrong in itself. But how do we respond to life’s trials? What characteristics are we most likely to display when life becomes a difficulty, a struggle, a burden?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when

 

James was speaking to believers in the early church who were experiencing widespread persecution because of their faith.  Depending on where you live, this may or may not be a reality in your life, but equally, wherever you live, life is full of strife.

And in all of this, James tell us to consider life’s trials pure joy.

Whaaaat?!

Yes, you read the passage right.

Pure joy.

Why ever would we find joy in our difficulties and hardships? Because, says James, there is purpose to it. Trials help us decide where we are laying our trust. They show us who we lean on, they show us who we need to lean on.

And the more we realise that it is God we need to lean on, the more strength and faith we have to persevere.

And the more we persevere, the more we mature. Then our maturity helps us in our next trial, trouble, struggle because our immediate reaction is getting further and further away from the list of unhelpful, panic-ridden responses and closer and closer towards turning to the only One who can truly give us the peace we need in it all.

Trials + God + perseverance = maturity.

It’s basically just maths.

 

Thoughts for Today

 

  1. What are some of the ways you could work towards making sure your reactions are towards ‘pure joy’ when life brings trials?
  2. How do you think it would help you in your own struggles if you were always able to consider them with pure joy?
  3. How does remembering God is not only there, but has permitted the trials in your life help you in growing your faith?
  4. What testimony would we have to others if we were to have a faith as mature as this?

 

Prayers for Today

 

  • Whatever kind of/size of/length of trial you are facing today, give it over to God. Even if you are being proactive in finding a solution, ask God to guide and lead you in your decisions, and ask Him to show you how to find the joy in your circumstances.
  • Pray today for those in countries where they face daily and persistent persecution for their faith, that they would know the peace and joy that comes from God.

 

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

 

 

Comments

  1. ebosaifuo says:

    1. A way I can make sure my reactions are towards pure Jo or what has worked for me is by reading and studying scriptures, then the Holy Spirit reminding me when I need them.
    2. The help will be the trails will no longer consume me but make me stronger.
    3. If God is with me and has permitted them to happen then I cam rest knowing He has a plan. He always does know what He is doing.
    4. The first testimony would be our lives and then how matured we are in God.

    Like

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