June 15| James 1:2-4
“Count everything pure joy, my brothers, whenever you run into various trials, knowing that testing your faith is achieving endurance. Now endurance must have its complete work so that you become mature and complete, in nothing lacking.” (James 1:2–4)
Do you have a friend or family member who shoots off a crazy idea and stares at you for approval? They don’t explain themselves. They don’t give you that, “Just kidding” look.
James says something crazy to open up his letter to his congregation scattered abroad because of persecution. In the middle of persecution he tells them to count all suffering and trials as a joyous experience. Absolutely crazy.
But he’s not like the crazy friend who stops there. He tells you why you can consider these trials you suffered joy. God is working through them to refine you and to complete your character. He is making you like Jesus.
God uses trials like we use weights for our muscles. He strengthens our faith and character through them. The adversity and suffering of our trials challenges us to grow. They make us exercise our trust in the Lord and improve our character to handle other trials.
You don’t have joy because of the trials that come your way. You have joy because of the results got is working in you. God tests your faith to make you stand up under pressure, leaning on him. Learning to lean on Jesus completes your character and you lack nothing.
Action Step: Trust in God when you see trials coming your way. He will use them to make you more like Jesus. Have joy in the transformation he makes you.
Jesus, you told me I would have trials and be persecuted. But you also walk with me as I go through them. I lean on you in the middle of the storm.