Extended reading: James 1:1-8
Devotional reading 1:2-3
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”
What? Are you kidding me? We are to find joy in troubles because “our endurance” has a chance to grow? I am not kidding, rather, the Bible is not joking regarding a Christian attitude in the face of severe trials! I get it, these words appear to be a contradiction in terms, but I assure you they are not. Troubles are for complaining, problems are for whining, and heartache is for crying, at least we think so. But God seems to have a radically different view on these things!
James writes to “Jewish believers scattered abroad” (v.1). He wants them to not only face their trials and tribulations but GROW through them as well. “For many of these early believers, their faith created a whole new series of troubles. Instead of complaining, crying, or giving up, James challenged the believers to have joy because their faith would have a chance to grow and deepen during the difficult times.”
Think about it for a moment. How is your walk of faith when everything is going great! I understand, we prefer it that way, but how does immense blessing help you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Does prosperity and plenty put you on your knees in sincere, deep prayer? Do they drive you into the Bible consistently, or do you become lazy or relaxed in those things? “Most often it’s troubles that bring us back to God. God loves us enough to allow us the opportunity of going through various hardships in order to “conform us more into the image of His Son.” When our faith is tested we have a chance to grow.”
“He wants us to be fully developed, perfect and complete, needing nothing” (1:4). If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know that “everything about the Christian faith turns what we consider to be ‘normal’ upside down.’”
JOY IN OUR TROUBLES? WHY NOT
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Knowing trials grow our faith, this truth produces hope which then helps us to endure
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