April 20, 2007
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
I’m not sure about you, but most people probably wouldn’t welcome an intruder as a good friend. But as crazy and backwards as that sounds, it’s exactly what James asks us to do when it comes to welcoming the problems and trials that come into our lives.
Today’s verses tell us that problems and troubles are going to come. James said “when” we encounter trials, not “if.” Everybody has problems.
What makes Christians different is the way we handle these challenges. We can joyfully accept hardships and trials because we know that God is going to use them to deepen our faith and strengthen our endurance.
I’ve always said that a faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted when the chips are down. The Christian life is a series of new beginnings, and more often than not those new beginnings begin with a trial or crisis of some sort. Those times are an opportunity to demonstrate our faith in God.
So don’t be surprised “when you meet trials of various kinds.” Remember, God has promised you His presence in the midst of your trials.
YOU CAN’T AVOID PROBLEMS, BUT YOU CAN OVERCOME THEM IN THE POWER OF CHRIST.