And Paul explained...
There are numerous ideas being tossed around regarding trials. Some people believe they're a form of punishment from God. Others dangle the promise before us that if we can just reach a certain level of maturity, trials will disappear and we'll live happily ever after; life will be one big spiritual Disneyland. And still others are out there trying to convince us that there's really no such thing as adversity. Trials such as death, pain and sickness are a figment of our imagination.
- ...They are inevitable - "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds..." [ James 1:2]
- ... They have purpose... but before we can grasp what that purpose is, we've got to give up viewing troubles as simply bothersome offenses and start seeing them as tests - tests specifically designed by God to stretch our faith, not simply our pocketbooks, friendships or health. "...because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." [James 1:3-4]
- To consider - The Christian mindset, going into a trial, is to be positive but not advocating us to deny the pain and sorrow we feel in the midst of a trial. Count it all joy..
- To know - Tests are designed by God for good, not evil. The heat of the furnace is not designed to make us crack, but to solidify His character in us.
- To let - Give in to testing, allow it to do its job in our lives and participate in the lessons the trial brings to teach us
- Lack of wisdom - the ability to view a test from God's perspective. Without this kind of wisdom, the ability to endure becomes elusive and the goal of maturity may never be reached.
- Lack of faith - a sustaining faith that involves complete abandonment to God and His purposes in our trials.
- Happiness... blessed... genuinely happy
- The crown of life... the crown of a rich and full life to be enjoyed here and now.
Trust God's promise...
Wait expectantly for God's intervention into our troubled situations...
~ He who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW ~
James 1:2-12 (New International Version)
Trials and Temptations
9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.