Trials: Not "If" But "When"
James 1:2-12 reminds us that facing trials is not a matter of "if" but it's a matter of "when."
Specifically James 1:2 says, "...when ye fall into divers temptations;..." Because trials (plural) WILL come, it's wise for us to be ready to handle them when they do.
For example, If you're in a situation where you must physically fight, if the fight is unexpected, you might get sucker punched. But, if you have your back foot planted and your shoulders properly positioned, and you’re ready to defend yourself, your chances of victory have increased greatly.
James tells us that trials are coming, and he give us 6 thoughts to help us be prepared.
1) Trials will test your faith. (James 2:3)
Sadly, some people crumble under their trials and turn their back on God. Whatever you're facing, do NOT let the Devil use it to make you a castaway or an apostate.
2) James tells us that trials "work patience." (James 2:3)
The "perfecting work" of patience is designed to mature Christians and make you more like Christ. (James 2:4) As you reflect on the life of Christ, there are SO many moments in which He showcased oodles of patience. SO MANY! And, even He faced trial after trial.
3) In the midst of trial, God promises to provide wisdom IF we ask in unwavering faith. He promises to not just give small amounts of wisdom, but He will give it "liberally."
4) James instructs us not to let the trial make us "unstable" or "double minded." So often we let trials move our focus away from the eternal God, where it should be, and instead we focus on the temporal situation. It's then that we often begin to panic. James wants us to keep our eyes on God! (James 1:8)
5) James explains that we need to be humble through trial and find our sufficiency in Him, not in our own resources. (James 1:9-11)
6) Lastly, James explains when we face the trial in a way that's pleasing to God, we will be blessed and receive "the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."
Through the book of James, God prepares Christians to spiritually fight through the trials of life and understand His purpose in allowing that trial. I want to encourage you to read closely James 1:2-12 and ask God for a fresh dose of His wisdom as you fight through the trials of life.
This devotion was written by Pastor James C. Johnson. These devotionals are being published throughout this pandemic in an effort to further strengthen the faith of our NorthStone church family. Feel free to comment below to offer your feedback about today's devotion.