James 1:2-8 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of 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 the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Have you ever thought, “He’s so lucky,” or “Her life is so simple,” when you are looking at someone? In truth, nobody lives a problem-free life. The Bible says that everyone experiences difficulties in life.
James 1:2 is a tiny verse, but it offers a wealth of wisdom regarding our struggles. The fact that James employs the word “when” is significant, to start with. It is a question of when, not if, you will go through trials.
Secondly, James implies that problems will appear out of the blue when he says we’ll “encounter” trials. There might not be enough time to plan for these problems.
Thirdly, he uses the word “various” to describe the constantly shifting, frequently unexpected ways that difficulties manifest. James wishes to say something specific: “Get ready. You need to get ready for trouble because it’s approaching so you can handle it effectively.”
You might not characterise your reaction to trials as ‘effective.’ We too frequently expect hardship to end soon. That, however, would deprive us of the chance for development that each trail offers.
Read that passage from James again – slowly. While reading, pray and ask God to teach you how to endure and even embrace your trials. He has a strategy for your difficult times. Today, ask Him what that might be – and then have faith that He will use it for His purposes.