“2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Last fall, I was fortunate enough to spend several days serving at a Faith Walk South Louisiana weekend where we dug deep into this passage. That weekend and this passage will forever hold a special place in my heart. If you are not familiar with Faith Walk or other Christian renewal weekends, I earnestly ask that you look into these and sign up to experience a closer walk with Jesus. As you prayerfully meditate on this passage today, ask God to unveil your eyes; open your heart; and speak truth into your life.
James uses an interesting conjunction word at the very beginning of this passage – WHEN. The Word of God makes it very clear that we WILL encounter various trials – not if, but when – so we must prepare now! Your Christian maturity plays a major part in (A) how you see your trials as pure joy and (B) how you learn to develop deeper faith, patience, and perseverance.
As believers, we know that God works all things for our good: “28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Believers must not live in a false reality that Christians are exempt from all trials while on this earth. The challenge is developing the Christ-like attributes during these trials that increase spiritual maturity so that you may be used to further God’s kingdom…remember, it’s really not about you!
Focus your attention on God and not your problem and He will not only protect you but He will TEACH YOU! We must remember that God allows testing to strengthen; God is not capable of tempting; it is not in His character -It’s IMPOSSIBLE! James 1:13 states, “No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone.”
We must remember that we are living in a fallen world. Most of our trials are merely because we are human but some trials originate from persecution because we are Christians. Either circumstance, we can rely on God’s grace and omnipotence to teach us and also to shelter us when needed. I wonder, though, how many of us just pray to be released from our trials? Instead, let’s heed the principles in this passage and pray for wisdom. Through wisdom, we gain a deeper spiritual understanding at the hand’s of God and not of ourselves. We become focused on seeking God’s purpose and plan through the trial versus selfishly and pridefully “powering” through on our own. I pray that we seek a spiritual understanding of, “I don’t want to miss the lesson,” when undergoing life’s circumstances and trials. Then, and only then, can we count it all joy!
Praise God for His lessons even in the storms!
Question: How do you pray when you are in the storms of life? How important is seeking wisdom during trials to a believer?