‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;’ — James 1:2
None of us likes trials or looks forward to them. Yet God’s Word instructs us to consider it a joy when we fall into many different kinds of trials! The rest of James 1 teaches us how we can be joyful in trials.
We can be joyful in trials when…
- We know that trials of our faith produce endurance and spiritual maturity (v.3-4).
- We receive wisdom from God when we ask God for it with genuine faith and no doubting (v.5-8).
- We focus on the spiritual blessings we have in Christ and the spiritual fruit of trials such as humility (v.9-11).
- We look forward to eternal rewards such as the crown of life that is given to the man who endures temptation (v.12).
- We remember the propensity we have to sin and never doubt the goodness of God in the midst of trials (v.13-18).
- We slow down our speaking and our anger and we speed up our listening so we can learn from the Lord and His Word (v.19-20).
- We get rid of any sin in our lives and seek to engraft God’s Word into every aspect of our lives (v.21).
- We obey and do the Word of God (v.22-27).
All of these actions and attitudes will really help us in trials. They are not easy solutions but they will genuinely help us get to the place that we can almost look forward to many different trials!
As we grow in spiritual maturity, we will realise that trials produce real spiritual fruit in our lives and make us more like Jesus. Like 1 Peter 1:7 says, the trial of our faith will become more precious than of gold that perishes because of what it produces in our lives.
May God help us to look to God for wisdom, to focus on the fruit of trials, to have an eternal perspective, to never doubt the goodness of God, to confess the sinful lusts of our hearts, to engraft and obey the Word of God. As we do, trials will be a joy to endure!