Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
How Did We Get Here?
Trials and hardship are a lot like those pesky spam emails filling up our inboxes. There’s a very good change that you may have woken up this morning, taken a good look at the difficult circumstances surrounding you, and prayed to the Lord, “Can I please unsubscribe from this situation?”
You may be wondering how you even got here in this tough place that feels so isolating. You’d never willingly sign up for these testing or trials, yet they are a very reality for us in our fallen, broken world. (Much like those emails!) But James teaches us how we can view our setbacks in a way that glorifies the Lord and trust that good can come even out of the bad.
Held Securely in His Hands
James writes that we can expect tough seasons throughout our lives. This was just as true for the early church then as it is for us now. And regardless of how well we plan, pursue wisdom, and seek to do well by God and others, these hardships still occur.
The good news, though, is the good news: God hasn’t left us alone in our messes. And that’s what James is trying to tell us! Even though we may be disappointed, shaken up, and let down by the situations we’re in, we can still find ourselves strengthened and held securely in the hands of a God is faithful to not let it all go to waste.
Comfort Over Cop-Out
This isn’t a cop-out to say, “Hey! At least you’re growing in your faith!” because the gospel isn’t a message that downplays our heartaches and headaches; instead, it’s a message of comfort. It’s something that reminds us there’s still purpose to be found in the pain. There is still joy, endurance, maturity, and abundance to be received, despite the darkness that seems to surround.
This is the best news. So, even if we’re still looking around and praying desperately for the opportunity to unsubscribe from those bad news spam accounts of this life, God is still present in it. Purpose is still present in it. May you find His presence in the midst of it all.
Take a moment to reflect on the season you’re currently in. Do you find yourself needing God’s insight and direction? Are you in need of His grace, peace, or presence? Consider what it is you’re most in need of us as you journey through the days ahead. Take them to the Source: Himself.