“The Great Joy of Growing Stronger”Categories: Shepherd's Corner
Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
Everyone wants to experience “pure joy,” but not many of us would think of a trial or test of faith as an opportunity to experience it. Let us consider what James could be thinking.
My first thought is that James is looking at the big picture for Christians. James sees the whole of life stretched before him and even into eternity where God will reward those who remained faithful. Everyone on earth will face difficulties but, as faithful children of God and trusting Him through today’s trials will prepare us to remain faithful in future challenges. You see, James didn’t see faith as something that you have or don’t have. Faith must be developed and grown over time. We can say that we “have” faith, but our faith becomes stronger the more we use it. When we see trials and difficulties as opportunities we draw near to God, grow our faith, and will find great joy in the most unlikely places.
More than anything, James is eager for us to see that our relationship with Christ is more valuable than our comfort. If our difficulties help us remain close to Christ, then we can trust that even setbacks will help our faith leap forward. Great blessings come when we take God at His Word. Amen!