Joy In Our Trials
James writes to the “brethren” showing that we are part of God’s family here on earth. Cf. Ephesians 3:15. We become a part of the family of God when we obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ by hearing, Romans 10:17, believing, John 8:24, repenting, Acts 17:30, confessing Christ, Acts 8:37, and by being immersed for the remission of our sins, Acts 2:38. When we are raised to walk in a newness of life, Romans 6:4, the Lord adds us to His church. Acts 2:47. We are “delivered…from the power of darkness” and “translated…into the kingdom of His dear Son. Colossians 1:13. James also writes about joys and trials. We are to see our trials as joy. How can this be? Trials are not joyful! So, how in this world can we be joyful in them?
Listen to James! “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. However, let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (1:2-4). We can look past our trials. Patience looks forward to better things. It looks beyond today’s clouds to the sunshine. Jesus has set the example at the Cross. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. When we think of the pain and shame of the Cross, it was a terrible trial. Jesus looked beyond these to the joy that would follow. Joy was ahead for Jesus after the Cross. He would have the joy of His resurrection and ascension back to the Father. He would reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
We can look for the potential for good in our trials. James said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (1:5). We have lessons to learn, and we learn them in our trials. Whether we realize it or not, there are changes; we need to make. We need the wisdom to understand what God is doing in our trials. James says we can ask for wisdom. We need to make any situation work toward perfecting us as Christians. One may be knowledgeable but not wise. Knowledge is obtained by experience and study; wisdom is a gift of God. Knowledge is a possession of facts; wisdom is the right use of those facts. Therefore, wisdom is knowledge, discernment, and understanding. Cf. Matthew 10:16; Ephesians 5:15, 16; Colossians 4:5-6. The context deals with trials; wisdom is letting these trials have proper result upon them.
We can look to the power of prayer in our trials. James said, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (1:6-8). We are invited to ask for help in trials. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16. God is there to hear and answer us in our trials. We are given an example of this in Mark 4:35-41. There was a storm. The disciples were concerned if the “Master” cared if they perished. Sometimes we are like the disciples. As Jesus answered them, He says the same to us. “Peace, be still.” We are told, “the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” We want God to “Hear Me When I Call” and be with me “Till The Storm Passes By.” We can pray and ask others to pray. Our faith grows through our trials.
Finally, we can look to the prize that awaits after our trials. James said, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (1:12). All our trials on earth are temporary. As a Christian, we have salvation in Christ if we continue to “Trust And Obey.” The Psalmist said, “In the LORD put I my trust:
How say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” (11:1). The Hebrew writer wrote, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” Hebrews 5:8-9.
No matter what trials we face in life, IF we are faithful to God, He is faithful in His promises. As a faithful Christian, we are promised heaven as our home! Heaven a place where there will be no more trials.
Bobby D. Gayton