Friday, March 11 – James 1:2-4
Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
What are some things that give you joy? There are many ways you could answer but you likely didn’t put “trials” on your list. We value comfort, happy memories, financial stability, and fun. Trials are the opposite of these things. How could they be joyful?
Think about playing a sport. What does it feel like when facing tough competition? It’s often intimidating, scary, difficult, and maybe even overwhelming. But consider if you only played easy opponents. Would you grow in your ability to meet challenges and persevere? While heavy competition can be hard physically and mentally, we see how it can produce better athletes. Teams that have overcome many obstacles are often said to be “battle tested.” But in matters of our faith, we would often rather stay in the shallow end. It is easier to put off our time with the Lord or turn to another outlet when things get difficult. But as James taught in this passage, growth and endurance only comes through trials. A player endures through the hard game to the end. We are called to do the same and promised that God will give us joy even during trials.
Is growth in your faith a priority? If you can see the eternal value of growing in your faith, in good times and tough times, you can experience joy in your trials. Thankfully, this does not depend on our efforts. Notice how James said to “let endurance have its perfect result.” This endurance that is produced by trials is not forged through self-sufficiency, but greater dependence on God. In Him, we can be confident that we are complete and lacking nothing.
- How do you prioritize growth in your faith? What is your responsibility in pursuing this growth?
- Why is endurance in our faith valuable? What are the dangers of not having the ability to endure?
- Pray and ask God for greater trust and dependence on Him in the face of trials.