Joy in stress?

Good Grade on Test

How you ever considered that trials and temptations can be a way of making us mature? Or molding us to be complete and lacking nothing?

That’s what the writer of James is telling us in the first chapter of his book. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ says to “consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides” (The Message). When’s the last time you jumped up and down with excitement in the middle of a trial? My normal response would be to recoil and think, Why me?

But that’s not the way we are reminded to act or react. I don’t believe we necessarily have to be excited about the trial itself, but encouraged that as a believer, I can rejoice in the fact that God is on my side. He has me covered; therefore I need not doubt or be afraid.

Maybe, just maybe, this testing of your faith you’re going through is meant to be shared with others. You probably aren’t feeling excited about an uncertain health issue, losing your job due to downsizing, or parenting a troubled teen. Still … there are lessons to be learned. And glory to be given. More than likely, there are individuals in your circle of influence who could benefit from hearing about what you are going through right now. As you and I handle a tough time, with the grace of God and His wisdom, others can be comforted.

Dear God, I admit I’m not overjoyed about this time of my life. In fact, I feel depressed and sometimes alone. Yet, in my heart, I know that You have my best interests in mind. I can go to You anytime day or night with my burdens. Thank you for loving me when I’m least unlovable. Amen.

Is there a message others need to hear about how you (with God) overcame a certain obstacle? Something that seems too big and wide to get through? Will you speak or pen those pearls of wisdom so another can benefit?

“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.


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