|Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is the undercurrent of everything we do as followers of Jesus. Without faith we lose all that Christ died to give us while here on earth. It is by faith we access the peace, joy, guidance, love, and purpose that comes from restored relationship with our heavenly Father. As we seek an increase in faith in response to God’s faithfulness this week, may you experience a greater depth of intimacy with your living, Almighty, and loving heavenly Father.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”- James 1:2-4
Trials and tribulations have the power to either keep us from abundant life or produce in us character that sustains abundant life. The choice is up to us. Will our faith remain steadfast in the face of trouble or will we abandon the lifestyle of faith for one of the world?
James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Allow the phrase, “Count it all joy” to settle in for a second. What trials have you faced in the past? What trials stand before you today? Is joy the emotion that stirs up within you when you think about your problems?
My first instinct in the face of trial is to run. I long to abandon the problems before me, to act as if they don’t exist. But Scripture commands me to count my trials as joy and run at them head-on for the sake of being transformed into a faith-filled, steadfast child of God. God sees trials as a chance to produce character within me, not as a circumstance intended to harm me or derail his plans for my life.
The greatest gift we’ve been given in the face of trials is faith. When problems are staring at us head-on it’s hard to see around them to the beneficial outcome God intends. In order to face trials the way God intends, we must have faith. We have to believe that God has an outcome as beneficial as the trial is hard. We have to have faith that God will see us through every problem that stands in our way and produce in us a steadfastness on which we can experience abundant life.
Hebrews 10:35-39 says, “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, ‘Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” May we not be a people who shrink back but stand on the firm ground of God’s promises. May we be believers filled with faith founded on the faithfulness of God.
Spend time in prayer allowing God’s word to fill you with fresh perspective about your trials and tribulations.
1. Meditate on God’s desire to use trials for your benefit.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
2. Reflect on the trials standing before you. What insurmountable problem is weighing on you? What job, relationship or circumstance troubles you?
3. Ask God to fill you with faith in response to the trial before you. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you his plans to use the trial for your good. Ask him to show you what characteristic he longs to produce in you. And ask him to fill you with the strength and courage to face your trial head on and overcome.