At times, one of the most frustrating passages in the Bible (to me) is James 1:2-4. If you’re not familiar with it, it starts like this, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials…”
Dude. I’m sorry, what? You want us to be cool with horrible things in our lives, trials, troubles, or temptations? So, when the finances crash, a terrible illness strikes, an unexpected loss of a loved one occurs, betrayal happens, relationships collapse, we experience failure… we’re supposed to count it all JOY?
So, I did some digging :).
“knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance”.
–FAITH – here is defined as belief WITH trust. When we face various trials, we need to hold on to what we BELIEVE in, TRUSTING God along the way.
-ENDURANCE – one of the definitions of endurance put it this way, “Not swerved from his purpose”. As we grow in our faith, through trials we will become more steadfast (another definition) and less apt to swerve from our purpose. Satan wants to use our trials to swerve us from our purpose, but God uses our trials to prepare us and grow us so that we will not swerve away from our purpose, from His purpose in us.
“so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing”
–MATURE – consummate of human integrity. INTEGRITY. This faith grows and builds our endurance so we’ll remain steadfast so that we will become more Christlike, develop integrity!
-COMPLETE – entire. Whole. Free from sin.
To sum it up:
TRIALS => grow our belief with trust so we will => increase our endurance then we =>won’t be swayed from purpose and => will remain loyal to my faith resulting in => INTEGRITY (free from sin, lacking nothing).
This whole process is a good thing, necessary and refining. So, for that…
CONSIDER IT A GREAT JOY…