When our circumstances quickly turn into the perfect storm and life has dealt us a severe blow, it’s easy to think that some of us experience more trials than others or we seem to have more than our fair share of struggles.

James levels the playing field. He explains that all of us — without exception — will face trials of many kinds in this life. The trials are needed for our faith to be tested and proven true. The things that test our patience and endurance, like weights to a body builder's muscles, develop our faith so that we learn to be resilient. Our need to persevere in trials, even suffering, is crucial. James explains that perseverance must finish the work it is doing. Perseverance must be fully experienced so that we will grow to be mature and complete.The Lord doesn’t want any of us lacking in any area of our lives.

We need a paradigm shift. Our Father loves us enough to not release us prematurely from our struggles, even if we beg. He knows they are needed to grow us. He will use them to do a work within us. He has a completely different perspective.

James invites us to alter our viewpoint when it comes to facing trials. Consider or think carefully about, contemplate, give thought to, reflect on all of the trials in your life. Ultimately trials are a gift — so much so, that we are encouraged to consider them “pure joy”!

We need to ponder that!

Father, thank you that you love me and you know that I need to persevere in order to grow to full maturity. You love me and are wise. No matter what I face today, would you give me the grace to see my struggles from your perspective? Would you strengthen and help me to persevere? Build my faith and character. Lord, help me ponder and consider my trials as pure joy. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

Going Deeper — Psalm 50:23 says, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” It is sacrificial to offer praise and thanks to God when it is the last thing you “feel” like doing. Spend time offering to God your praise and thanksgiving in the midst of your trials. May he show you his salvation.

Tags: Our Life Journey James 1
Photo Credit: Melanie Brown