Are you being tested? (2)
Now, be honest. You’ve probably read today’s verse and wondered if James was living on the same planet you live on. This has got to be one of the craziest things the Bible says. Trials and difficulty come along, life sucks, and this is the moment you should be filled with joy?! That means you can’t even complain or feel sorry for yourself.
So how do you have joy?
Well when life is interrupted by trials or problems, praise God! Worship Him, praise Him, hang out with him and tell people how good he is too.
Because the truth is, life is one trial after another and if we weren’t joyful before, during and after them we’d never be joyful at all.
James speaks of ‘various trials’. You won’t get bored by the trials you face because they’ll come in every variety you can imagine. Notice, James didn’t say ‘if’ they come, but ‘when.’ Will Rogers once read a newspaper headline ‘Innocent Bystander Shot in New York.’ ‘How about that?’ he said. ‘All you have to do to get shot in New York is be innocent and stand by.’ That’s how it is with trials. You can’t avoid them, just stand by innocently and you’ll still get hit.
James answers: ‘Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way’ (James 1:2-4 TM). Problems produce maturity. The truth is, it can’t come any other way!
‘…WHEN TROUBLE COMES YOUR WAY, CONSIDER IT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GREAT JOY.’ JAMES 1:2 NLT