“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3; NKJV)
Have you ever prayed for patience? Did you realize that your prayer might be answered with trials? Today’s verses are telling us that the way to acquiring patience is through joy in the middle of the storms. Being grateful and joyous about our problems is not an easy task. It goes against the way we would naturally react. Hardship is a part of life. We live in an evil world where things don’t always work out in our favor. When we have a good attitude about the things that go wrong it makes them easier to deal with.
Patience is something that comes through experiencing God’s provision when things go wrong. It is through those experiences that our faith grows. Growth comes from going through things that we would rather not have to go through. When facing challenges in our lives we always have a choice of how to react to those challenges. If all you do is consider the downside of trying situations, then you will probably be depressed or worried about them. This leads to making foolish decisions (mostly out of fear) that can make a bad situation even worse.
Psalm 1:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” When things seem to be going all wrong, it helps to remember that the Lord knows your situation better than you do. He knows the beginning and the end. Psalm 139:11 says: “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ Even the night shall be light about me.” The light of Christ in you shines over all the darkness that you might feel around you. Do not let the devil deceive you into thinking that your trials will overtake you. Your trials will ultimately increase your intimacy with Jesus if you lean on Him for strength and courage.
James follows his word about patience with a word about wisdom. He tells us to ask God for wisdom and He will give it to whoever asks (1:5). When things seem to get out of control, rest in the Lord, ask for wisdom, and trust that He will give you whatever you need to make it through the storm. This process, when repeated each time problems arise, will result in patience beyond what you thought possible.
Have a great week and God bless.