When facing hardship and difficulties, we are often far from being able to count it pure joy and are more likely to be struggling through with gritted teeth. However, James is reminding us in this verse that trials are there to test us in order to develop perseverance. It is encouraging to think that God might be testing us, as He would only be testing those He wants to use.
When I was a child we used to go to Scotland on holiday, travelling on the overnight train. The journey was a great excitement to me and I would do my best to stay awake, especially as we crossed the Forth Bridge. The builders of this great feat of engineering would have needed to test the materials being used, to ensure that they would be able to carry the weight of the trains that were to thunder across it and to withstand the pull of the tides and the storms that would batter it. In the same way, God tests us to ensure that we will be able to carry the weight of responsibility that He wants to give us, and to withstand the tides of opinion that will seek to pull us away from our calling and the storms that will batter us.
If you are facing trials and difficulties today, be encouraged that God may be testing you because He wants to use you in a deeper way. Like gold having the dross removed, the times of testing also refine us, so that we become more like Him. Persevere, and count it all joy!
Prayer: Help me Lord to learn the lessons that trials and testings bring, so that my future life will be stronger and more effective for your Kingdom as a result. In Jesus' Name. Amen
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