Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,James 1:2(NASB)
Many believers think that our Christian life should be problem-free and devoid of trials, and yet Jesus warned that in this world we will have tribulation, while Paul also reminds us that we must, through much tribulation, enter into the kingdom of God.
James also wanted to explain that our personal trials are a test of our faith and the daily difficulties we face in life help to develop our Christian character and mature our spiritual walk. And so at the beginning of his epistle, he calls us to consider the various trials we face as pure joy, and the inevitable difficulties that come our way as a glorious opportunity to rejoice in the Lord, the Rock of our Salvation.
Sometimes the difficulties we face are the result of our own wrong choices. Sometimes they come cloaked in the enticing wrapping-paper of ungodly temptations, and sometimes they are the fruit of ungodly harassment and unfair treatment from a Christ-rejecting, God-hating, Christian-despising, sinful world.
Whatever the source of our trials and temptations, we can choose one of two routes. We can seek to battle through in our own strength, wondering if God really cares as the pressure increases until we finally give-up - or we can remember that God is in control, we can rejoice in the Lord and consider it pure joy, recognising it as one of the various trials which God will use to fine-tune our faith, increase our dependence upon Him, develop our Christian character, and bring us closer to spiritual maturity.
Heavenly Father, there are times when I complain about the trials and tests that seem to pepper my walk through life. May I increasingly learn to regard the various trials I face as pure joy and the inevitable difficulties that come my way as glorious opportunities to rejoice in You. I pray that I may face my daily trials joyfully, knowing that the testing of my faith will produce endurance and steadfastness. May I increase my dependence upon You during good times and bad. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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