Joyful Trials

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4.

Before Ford installs brakes in one of its cars, the vehicle manufacturer runs several tests on them to ensure they are safe, reliable and fit for their intended purpose. Ford’s goal in running a battery of tests on important vehicle equipment like brakes is to safeguard its customers and the general public. When a driver needs to use his brakes, he must be confident that they will consistently perform as designed and stop the car. If the brakes fail, the result could be tragic.

God tests our faith for the same reason – to ensure that when we need it, our faith will not fail us but instead will steady, comfort and encourage us. Each test of our faith is used by God to identify an area of weakness, to correct and to strengthen us so that when trials come, we will be able to stand firm.

Each time we fail a test of our faith by crumbling in the face of adversity, having turned to our earthly supports instead of Christ for help, we grow in wisdom as we discover that while we can’t, God can. Others may be unreliable, but God is trustworthy. We learn that He alone is our refuge and strength and that through Christ we can do all things, but apart from Him we can do nothing.

When we stand firm by trusting God in the midst of a crisis, He is pleased by our faith and will deliver us in His time according to His will. We become more mature Christ followers as we endure the trials of this life with absolute assurance that God is in control. Come what may, we know that God has promised us eternal life, and God keeps His promises.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Lord, please help us find joy as we face trying circumstances, knowing that you will use each trial to develop perseverance in us and to grow us up in our faith so that one day, like Jesus, we may be complete and  lack nothing.

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