The Trial of Your Faith - James 1

The Trial of Your Faith

James 1:1-27

        Christians do not have a free pass when it comes to trials.  They are inevitable, especially when it comes to the testing of your faith.  The apostle Peter had this to say: "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you."  1 Peter 4:12.  James writes about "when you fall into various trials," not if.  Trials are unavoidable.

        While they are certain, they are not always predictable.  It is not uncommon to be blindsided by the unexpected.  Trials come in various forms, some more subtle than others.  Persecution presents a severe test to one's faith, but praise can result in pride, which goes before a fall. 

        James wants us to know that God uses trials to produce patience, endurance, and perseverance.  Watch Christian TV and you'll hear a lot of talk about power.  The Lord is interested in generating patience.  Paul prayed for the believers at Colosse that they would be "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy."  Colossians 1:11.  God wants you to have the power to be patient.

        Why is that?  Because He desires that His children become mature in their faith.  That doesn't happen apart from trials which produce patience.  "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  The word perfect here is better understood as mature.

        Trials do not always come to us in black and white, and with apparent solutions.  Often they arrive with complications, leading us to our wit's end.  When you don't know what to do, pray.  "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."  God will not scold you for praying, but He will upbraid you for your unbelief.  Those who pray must "ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind."  The Lord hears the prayer of faith and will see you through your trials.

        Another important factor in overcoming our trials is our love for God.  A patient faith that works by love has its own reward.  "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."  (The words trial and temptation are the same in the Greek.)  So how should you respond to those trials that come your way?  Realize that God wants you to be better, not bitter, so "count it all joy."

 

        Loving Father, we understand that You are patient and longsuffering with us.  Help us to grow up in our faith that we might be more like Jesus.  Thank You for understanding us.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Faith and Works - James 2


 
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