James 1:2-3 New Living Translation
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.*”
No specific church or group of brethren are mentioned in the introduction of James letter. It was addressed to Jewish believers scattered abroad. They were under a strong wave of persecution, which had shaken their faith.
The Christian life could never be called a cakewalk. There are mountains and valleys, victories and pratfalls, trials and tribulations galore. You’ll never avoid them; they come to you for a reason. Once you understand that God is sovereign, in that he has supreme rule and authority over all things within his creation, you may begin to realize that those things that happen to you have been orchestrated or allowed by the Lord himself. They are a test of your faith. One thing James speaks of is the persecution of the brethren for their faith in Christ. That type of trial hasn’t hit most of us American believers, but some day it might. Each situation we go thru today just might help us survive something more difficult tomorrow.
Having confidence in God’s ability to meet our needs, regardless of what they may be, enables us to grow our faith. We are called to persevere thru our trials, because perseverance produces mature Christian character. This is one powerful way to witness to non-believers; by remaining faithful to God in spite of what you are going thru. God is with us as we ride out the trial; in fact he’s already on the other side of it. God is not constrained by time or space; therefore, he is infinite. He’s in us in the person of the Holy Spirit, all around us in the present and standing at the end of time, all in the same instant. Allow your mind to fully comprehend that truth and watch your faith grow. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: The Life Application Study Bible; The Reformation Study Bible.
* Romans 5:3 New Living Translation “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”