Every Christian wants to believe that he absolutely, positively trusts God. Belief and reality may not be the same thing. Our faith level is revealed in our attitude and actions when trouble knocks on our door.
James, Jesus’ brother, knew that being a Christian does not exempt one from trouble. He also knew that trials, when handled correctly, would produce a life of victory. Everyone wants to believe that God will bring them through trials, but nobody wants to experience a trial to see if it be true. God will not settle for lip service. Sooner or later, everyone’s faith is tested. James teaches us how to become stronger in our faith through the trouble of this old world that is bound to come. James 1:2-4 in the Amplified Bible reads:
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Joy (exhilaration, exuberance) is not the first emotion that one experiences when trouble comes, especially when we are not looking for it, or deliberately caused it. Trouble just burst through the door of our lives, unexpected and unwanted. Some troubles are considered small, like a flat tire on the way to work. Some tests are detrimental, like being lied on or misunderstood. Some trials are more serious, like the diagnosis of stage four cancer. James’s next sentence tells us why we must consider it nothing but joy when we fall into trouble.
3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. I interpret the joy James is talking about as a “knowing” in my gut that somehow everything is going to end with me being vindicated and victorious. Not because of me, but because of God. Somehow, He is going to turn it around, if I just take the next step that James describes.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. Knowing that God is going to make it turn out for our good, we must stop trying to abort the test and let it run its course. “Be still and know that I am God,” He says. When we calm down and realize that no matter how it looks, God is still in control. Then we breathe easier. Worry will flee. Hang in there! “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.” Each time we stay the course, the result or prize is stronger faith in God; until we are spiritually mature, wanting nothing He can’t or won’t give to us. What a peace that truth brings. Joy! Joy! Joy!
Each round of testing that we pass makes us more fit for God’s service use. I want to live a victorious life serving Jesus, my Savior.
Have you experienced joy or had a calm “knowing” in your belly in the middle of a trial because you believed God was going to make everything alright – one way or the other? Were you patient, able to endure, and did not try to end the trouble on your own? Is your faith in God stronger now that the trial is over? Share what and if you can. #Join the conversation.