When Christians commit to living in trials differently, and stand firm when asking for wisdom, a transformation takes place that causes faith to grow, and the unbelievers heart to be curious.
In the book of John, Jesus tells his disciples that in the world they will have many trials and sorrows (NLT). He also tells them to take heart because he has overcome the world. Today’s Christians are no different. While we are spread all over the world, some in more dangerous places than others, we still face trials and we must still hold on to the truth that Christ has overcome the world.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. – James 1:2-3
Your probably thinking that’s a bit strong putting joy and trials in the same sentence, I get it, but while its easy to get hung up about the idea to somehow be happy when experiencing trials, it’s not what I want you to focus on. There is a word in there that I reckon many believers probably miss altogether because we are to busy reacting.
But you have no idea what life has been like for me and how my trials have impacted me!
Back to that word that I never really noticed until today. Consider. We are being told to consider it all joy when we encounter various trials. If we already know that the testing of our faith isn’t all bad, and that God can produce something great even in darkness, then it makes sense that we at least “consider it joy ” during those times. No one is suggesting jumping on your facebook wall and happily announcing the worst time of your life, or to host a I’m experiencing full on depression party where no one is allowed to ask you what’s wrong.
We all know fake Joy when we see it, and we all know when we see a person who is experience some kind of trial, and its obvious that they have been thinking (considering) about God’s sovereignty and their response to that. The two look very different.
If your thinking that this is all to hard, or you like the idea of trusting God in your trials but your not sure you have the energy or the smart that’s ok, James hasn’t finished! God has not only shown us that we are to “consider it all joy” when it comes to living in our trials, but he also wants us to ask him for help.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. – James 5-6
When it comes to managing trials and anxiety I am not very wise at all. Nope, If God is mot moving fast enough to relieve pain or I cannot see a way forward, I usually take that as a sign that its my turn to be God. The last thing I think about doing is stopping to consider and the first thing I do is react and there is no joy in that. I am certain that I am the only Christian who does this so I will stop right there…
We need the wisdom of God at all times, but especially during trials. Remembering Gods past provision is pretty important here because it means we can confidently ask and trust that not only will it not be the end for us, but God can do something pretty awesome that will grow us in our faith journey. It’s when we apply these kinds of truths during the not so nice times that joy is produced.
So I want to encourage you to commit to living in your trials differently (Consider it joy) and continue to know who God is so you can confidently ask for help when you are lacking wisdom. Lets all commit to this!
Thanks for reading and if you have found anything helpful from this post I encourage you to leave a comment, or share it with others who may benefit.