Consider it Nothing But Joy?
That is generally not my first thought when I am going through a trial. My first thought when I am going through a trial is, “God, please get me out of this!” James 1:2-3 tells us to “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” The author of James tells us to look at trials through different lenses entirely than we are normally used to, he tells us to look at trials as a thing to find joy in, not to shun away from.
James tells us we should view them as joy because these trials will be making us more like our Savior Jesus Christ. Generally we think of trials as punishments, things to be avoided, but the Christian is called to view them as times of growth and refining. Another verse that seems to come to mind is the theme verse behind the sculpture at Faith West. “As iron sharpens iron, so one many sharpens another.” In order to sharpen there has to be friction, there has to be heat, and there has to be trials. It seems that, in scripture, growth is tied in many places with things that on the outside seem “hard.”
I think there are a few key questions that we should consider as we think about James 1:2-5
- How will you change how you are viewing trials that come into your life?
- How are you going to respond differently when life throws a curveball your way?
- How are you going to going to communicate to those around you when you are in a trial?
Our challenge today is to view trials for what they are: opportunities that God is placing in our lives to become more like Jesus. If we stop fighting the trials and start looking to ways to grow, we might not look at trials as a bad thing, but will agree with James and find them a joyful opportunity.
How will You Apply?
So let’s encourage one each other with this post; how are you going to change based on this truth? What are some specific, measurable, tangible steps of growth that you can take today that will cause you to become more like Christ?