Monday, March 20, 2006

James 1:1-4 Responding to Trials (part 2)

James 1:1-4
James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. [2] Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, [3] knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. [4] And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The second principle that James teaches us about responding to trials is in verse two. We must embrace trials with an attitude of joy. This does not mean that we put a phony smile on our face and pretend to be happy. No, James is not encouraging us to pretend or be hypocritical. The joy that James is talking about is the inner sense of contentment and well-being that comes from knowing that God is control and keeps His promises. So joy is not event oriented, it’s relationship oriented! We rejoice because we believe Romans 8:28 which says, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. The next verse, Romans 8:29, goes on to tell us that God’s purpose is that we be conformed to the image of His Son.

Folks, there are no shortcuts to becoming like Jesus. Trials are a major part of the process. We must wisely see them from God’s perspective rather than our own. Every trial that God allows into our lives is specifically designed to make us more like Christ.

I leave you with a quote from Warren Wiersbe, “Our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to “count it all joy.” If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter, not better.”

Embrace your trials with joy so that you become a better Christian not a bitter Christian! It’s up to you.

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