Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Isn’t it hard to have pure joy when we face trials? James tells us that we should have joy, because trials of our faith produce endurance, steadfastness, and maturity.
We are in training, learning how to live righteous lives, until Jesus returns. He is refining us, making us fit for His Heavenly Kingdom. We are to build up our faith, put on our armor, and mature in the Lord. We need these trials to complete our faith.
We have a great example to fix our eyes on — Jesus! Hebrews 12:2 says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus endured the cross, for the joy set before Him of sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. This verse in Hebrews says Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of faith. He completely understands what we are going through, and is not a stranger to suffering, persecution, temptation, or any other thing we are experiencing.
If we are facing trials, it could be that God is disciplining us as a Father does. Hebrews says this of trials:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
We are God’s own children, loved by our Father, and although difficult at the time, discipline is for our benefit, to correct us when we are wrong. Psalm 30 tells us that God does not stay angry for long:
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
The life of David has good examples of God’s discipline. While God is perfecting us, take heart, if you endure, you will shine like refined silver or gold.
Maybe the trials we suffer are to bring Jesus honor and glory when He returns? Many people in the world today are suffering for their faith. 1 Peter 1:7-9 says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of our souls.”
One thing I know as 2 Peter 9 puts it, 9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.
We are partners with the Lord when we suffer for good. He is aware of our trials, and is able and willing to deliver us! Be patient, have joy, and keep your eyes on the goal! Don’t give up! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
Lord, thank You that our trials can be used for good, to produce patience, endurance, maturity of faith, and steadfastness. Thank You that You discipline us as dear children when we are in error, as a loving father and friend does. Help me to have joy, even when experiencing trials, knowing You will rescue me, knowing You are with me. Be with your dear children who are experiencing so many trials today. Help them to be over-comers with Your help! Thank You!