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. James 1:2-4
There are many things in life that we consider joyfully and many things that bring us joy. There are few people that would consider trials as one of those things. Yet we are confronted in Scripture about our attitude towards trials, which are also referred to as testing and we are challenged to evaluate our thoughts towards the purpose of trials in our lives.
Let’s look at James 1 verse 2. In the beginning of this verse we are told to “consider” or “count” it all joy and we are also told that trials are inevitable and they will come in different forms. When we look at this verse, we see that James is addressing the “brethren” so this tells us that all believers on the face of this earth who lives for any amount of time will be tested throughout all stages of life and that they can expect different kinds of tests. These tests are a test of our faith.
James, by the Holy Spirit, uses the word “trial.” When you think of the word “trial” you think of something that is being examined. For example, we often see and hear of a trial offer or a 30-day trial period. This suggests that this trial is purposed to test the product or whatever is being offered in the trial. If the trial is for a product, you and I both know that every detail of the product will face our durability test before a commitment to purchase is made. If the product stands the test, we then know more about the strength of the product and we trust in it enough to purchase or keep it without returning it. Now in our lives, when we are tested, it’s not that we are proving our faith to God, for He knows all things, but we are able to see if our faith in God is as strong as we believe it to be or we may be encouraged as well to see how God has matured us in the faith when we thought we were not as strong. In either case these trials, or tests of faith, are used to grow and strengthen our trust in God and demonstrate our constant need of Him. In this way, He shows us His faithfulness in the midst every test so that we learn to depend upon Him more, learn more about who He is and so that we do not doubt who He is, nor doubt His goodness, nor doubt His great love for His children. With each trial or examination of our faith in God, God is maturing us and we are producing endurance so that we trust Him completely in all things. This development strengthens our relationship with Him and keeps us from fearfully and frantically making hasty decisions that could grieve Him and sin against Him and others.
This leads us back to the purpose of trials, why we should consider it all joy, and as a result “rethink trials” during our varied tests of faith by changing our perception of trials. Although testing can involve great difficulty, we know that it is purposeful, it cannot be avoided, and God is developing and producing our steadfast trust in Him because He is always in control of every circumstance and that means we can always rest in Him and His sovereignty.
What test(s) of faith are you facing in this season of your life? You may be facing the test of unemployment, which may or may not be followed by the temptation to complain and doubt the provision and care of God. You may be tested in the area of your health and the temptation to become bitter or hopelessness surfaces and you doubt the love and compassion of God, or whatever it is that is a constant battle and is followed by thoughts that suggests to your heart and mind, which tempts you to doubt who God says He is in His Word, to doubt His love for you, and to doubt that He is always good (James 1:13-15). Please pray and ask God to strengthen you in your test, ask for His forgiveness for doubting His character, His integrity, and His love, and ask for help to see that tests are purposed by Him so that you can consider it all joy. I challenge you as I challenge myself, let this be the day that you “rethink trials”, meditate on Scriptures that magnify the greatness of our God and meditate on Scriptures that encourage you to consider it all joy because your sovereign heavenly Father controls all things and He has purposed your test(s) of faith to strengthen your dependence on Him, your trust in Him and your love and devotion to Him.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,