Trials, hardships, troubles, storms are things we all experience in life. Some of us are presently in a trial. The bible is clear that trials will be a part of our lives. I do not know anyone who loves going through hardship. No one is a glutton for punishment and God is not an abuser nor does He get pleasure out of our suffering. God’s pleasure comes from what these storms, or trials produce. Here is what God said about His beloved son Jesus in the book of Isaiah 53 verse 10, “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” Wow! God did not exempt His own Son from fruit bearing trials and He will not exempt us from the same fruit bearing trials either.
In James 1: 2-4, James was given a revelation from God of what our attitude, heart and mindset should be when we fall into trials. It is summed up in one word, “Joy”.
James 1:2-4New King James Version (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
I like the way the Holman Christian standard bible translation starts off with “Consider it a great joy my brothers”.
Now, we know that when the storms of life come, naturally joy is the last thing on our minds. Our natural response usually is “Lord, come quickly”. We do not like to endure trials, especially here in America. Another response is to desire sympathy and attention. There is something in our human nature that feeds off others feeling sorry for us. I think it is about the attention. Another response is depression which leads to self-medication with over eating, drugs, alcohol, sex, excessive television watching, or to lash out on the ones we love. There are many other types of responses. We all have responded in one or in some of these ways.
We don’t get joy because we lost a relationship or a job. Nor do we get joy because of bad news of an illness or having to endure a boss that is mean. Maybe for you it’s difficulty with your children. There are many storms of life that we encounter. The joy is in what these situations produce. According to James 1: 3, 4 these trails produce patience. Some translations say it produces endurance. When an individual endures hardship, persecution, suffering with patience he/she becomes perfect lacking nothing. Now, we know that we will not be perfect until we are with Jesus after death or in the second coming. This perfection James is talking about is maturity. Our trust in God in the mist of hardship denote maturity. If we need some maturing in this area of trust, trials will let us know exactly where we are in the process. Remember, trials are for the testing of our faith, and this testing produces patience and endurance. When we allow this patience and endurance to work on our character we will see growth and more importantly God sees it.
So!, If you are presently experiencing a trial and it seems likes all hope is lost; Stop, take a moment and remember, first, trials do not last forever. Second, when the trial is over you will know God more and will be able to trust Him during the next trial. Lastly, this is one of the ways in which God mature His children.
Heavenly Father I pray for those who are presently in a trial. I pray that You will give them your perspective concerning this trial. I pray that they will find comfort in Your Word and in Your presence. You are always conforming us into your image, and pruning us to grow in our relationship with You. Help us to have joy in the mist of our circumstances. Help us to trust that You are in control. We come against depression and hopelessness in the name of Jesus. I pray for the Joy of the Lord to saturate their hearts and mind in the name of Jesus. We give You glory and thank You for Your maturing process. In Jesus name amen.
Thanks for Reading, God Bless You,
Pastor Michael Jolicoeur