Profiting From Trials

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

(James 1:2-4)

Our outlook on life determines our attitude which affects the outcome and determines our action. God tells us to expect trials. It is not “if you fall into trials,” but “when you fall into trials.” Maturity is the goal; therefore, we cannot expect everything to go our way, some trials come from aging as humans, sickness, accidents, and the losses we face as we age. Other trials come simply because we are Christians. Satan fights us with his fiery darts flung at our attempts in bringing others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The world opposes anything that represents Christ and His cross that brings hope beyond this life.

When we face trials in this life, we must evaluate them in the light of what God says in His Word that He is doing for us. Teaching us to consider rather than deny the difficulty in trials, and to see or look beyond them at the overall outcome and what it is doing to us, the good results from them that produce virtues such as patience, endurance, and longsuffering. Christlike character that God cannot build in us without our cooperation. If we resist Him, then He uses the trials to chasten us into submission. But if we submit to Him during our trials, then He can accomplish His work. He will not be satisfied until it becomes a perfect work. Meaning our heart attitude must not be halfway; but a finished work making us mature and complete.

Our values determine our evaluations of ourselves. If we value comfort more than character, then trials upset us. If we value, the material possessions and physical more than the spiritual, we will not be able to “count it all joy when {we} fall into various trials” (v.2). If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter, not better. If we respond well, however, testing works for us. The word “testing” can be translated “being approved.” God’s approval of our faith is precious as gold, refined in fire because it assures us that our faith is genuine and maturing.

Through testing, God wants to produce in us patient endurance, and the ability to keep going when things get tough. In the Bible, endurance is not a passive acceptance of circumstances. It is a courageous perseverance in the face of suffering and difficulty. Life experience is the best teacher as what we read in the Scriptures can’t be fully learned without practical application.

The results which is what God wants all along is for us to have endurance and character. Knowing this we can face trials with a new perspective, joyfully remembering what these trials are actually doing in us and for us. And will result with bringing God the glory.

Heavenly Father, You are a holy and awesome God, working through trials and in our hearts a enduring character in the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Holy fire burn away the dross in us, so what remains will be pure and undefiled. A perfect work that we may be of use to You. Lord, thank You for this perspective. In Jesus name, Amen