Have you ever looked at someone and thought, He’s so lucky or her life is so easy?
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, 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. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:2-8
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, He’s so lucky or her life is so easy? In reality, no one has a problem-free existence. Scripture describes life’s trials as universal—we all face times of trouble.
James 1:2 is a small verse, but it contains tremendous insight about our trials. First, it is significant that James uses the word “when.” Undergoing trials is a matter of when rather than if.
Second, James says we’ll “encounter” misfortune, implying that difficulties will arise unexpectedly. There may be no time to prepare for these dilemmas.
Third, he uses the adjective “various” to denote the ever-changing, often surprising ways adversities appear. James has a specific message he wants to convey: “Get ready. Trouble is coming, so you must be prepared to handle it effectively.”
“Effective” may not be a word you’d use to describe your response to trials. Too often, we hope for hardship to pass us by quickly. However, that would rob us of the opportunity for growth that each trial contains.
Read today’s passage again slowly. Pray as you read, asking God to show you how to endure—and how to actually rejoice in your trials. He has a plan for your moment of hardship. Ask Him today what it may be and then trust He will accomplish His purpose in it.
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission
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