Enduring Trials

James 1:2-8(NIV)

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. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

There are many slogans for picking you up when you go through trials.  I like the saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and “the trials and tribulations in your life do not build character. They reveal it.”  Another one is “God places obstacles along your journey to prepare you for the blessings that await you at the finish line.”  Sometimes, it is good to read through some of these quotes from those before us and then look at the example in the Bible.  Look back and see how Jesus, Peter, Paul and the other disciples faced opposition and trials and how they handled it.

James says that the best way to handle trials is to start with joy.  That doesn’t sound very exciting, but then feeling depressed and sad during a trial will rarely help you to push through and persevere.  When we are sad and feeling hopeless, we won’t want to persevere as it is easier to quit.  Our emotions will tell us that God will not help us and that there is no point in trying.  However, joy, faith, perseverance and prayer for wisdom is all tied together during a trial.  It is not easy to persevere, but the thought of going through it will help us to become stronger and more mature in the end.

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