Time to be honest here. That verse up there? I struggle with it. A LOT. Trials - a JOY? And not just one trial here and there. Trials of MANY kinds. I'm supposed to rejoice when things go wrong? Seriously?
Thanks, I wanna say, but no thanks.
But as I read on in this passage, I can't help but nod my head - reluctantly, but vehemently.
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 1:3-4 NIV
"In this world you will have trouble," Jesus told his disciples, on His way to some of the worst trouble of His earthly life. Not you might. Not some of you will. It's a promise. The Lord promises His children trouble.
But the second part of this verse is also a promise. "But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV And He is in us - so we can overcome too.
Okay - I can OVERCOME my troubles. But rejoice in them? Embrace them? NOT try to escape them?
We humans learn through experience. And, to be honest, the more difficult the experience, the more we learn. And the more what we learn sinks in. And the Lord knows this.
And we might know it too. But we forget. Or ignore it. And, focused on our own comfort, we try to get out of our trials as soon as we can.
But it is IN our trials where we draw closer to the Creator and Lover of our soul. It is when we allow the Lord to use our trials to make us more like Him that we truly grow in our Christian walk.
"Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b NKJVCan you rejoice in your trials - knowing that Go put you there for His purpose? Can you allow Him to use you in your struggles without struggling against Him, knowing He knows best? Can you, my friend, use every moment of your trial to draw you closer to the One who loves you more than anything?
A difficult order, to be sure. But one, I dare say, we should strive for through our troubles - no matter how much we don't want to. Because He is trustworthy and faithful.
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us?
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths