Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,
because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life
that God has promised
to those who love him.
JAMES 1:2-4, 12 (NIV)
A trial is not just an assault to be withstood, it is an opportunity to be seized. And these verses in James are intended to inspire, showing us that trials are opportunities to prove our love and enhance our faith. With this perspective, life becomes inspiring – not in spite of the trials but because of them.
The soldier who is called to the front lines is stimulated at the chance to prove his skills. The officer who is given a position of higher responsibility is roused by the rugged demands of his task. You and I are soldiers in the same way.
If you are tempted to slack off from praying but instead you remain faithful, your faith develops perseverance. If you are tempted to feel sorry for yourself, but instead start thinking of the needs of others, your character becomes refined. The result? An improved you with greater faith and a closer walk with the Savior.
And this is where the joy comes in!
JONI EARECKSON TADA
We can rejoice, too,
when we face problems and trials,
for we know they help us develop endurance.
And endurance helps us develop character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us,
because he has given us the Holy Spirit
to fill our hearts with his love.
ROMANS 5:3-5 (NLT)
On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky