Embrace with Joy the Trials of Life

09 2013 SS Pressure-Points_Have you ever heard this this…“If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger”? Or perhaps you gone through some things made you either “bitter or better?” 

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at “pressure points” such as partiality, temptation, and conflict. This week’s topic is how to handle trials!

In James 1: 1-4, we find the author encouraging us to consider it a joy to go through trials. I have to admit that seems like radical advice…and it is!  But James, who is head of the Jerusalem church and half-brother of Jesus, says that trials will result in us being mature and will build endurance in our character and spiritual walk.

So, when we face trials we are to welcome the trials with joy, embrace them and experience God working in our lives to mature us. Easier said than done when we have just got that stomach turning medical report, or are still looking for that right job, or are wondering why that person or family member has grown cold toward us.

Embracing the things of life with joy is a unique perspective. That is where verse 5 comes into play with its admonition to pray for wisdom.  The wise believer knows that Jesus will use the trials of life to exalt Himself. In fact in verse 12 we read that when we endure trials as James instructs, then we will be blessed and receive the “crown of life” that Jesus has promised us. Our reaction to the trials can bring glory to Him, and that is why we are to embrace them with joy.

Things to Ponder:
What trials are you going through? Can you thank Jesus for them right now? Ask him to help you embrace them with joy.
Who can you encourage that is going through trials?
James was known as a prayer warrior and referred to as “old camel knees”. How do you think his prayers impacted his views on living out the Christian life? And how are your prayers changing perspectives…situations…and lives?

 

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