The Purpose of Trials
We begin a short study of James. James is kind of like the “Proverbs” of the NT. Each chapter contains various topics and wisdom for living. James begins by talking about something that everyone can relate to: trials. It’s easy today to look out and think that no one else has trials. But the truth is, we all have trials. No one has it all together. And certainly, none of us are God. We aren’t sovereign. The question is not whether I will I have trials, but rather is what I will learn from my trials. Or rather, is there good from my trials? James says yes. As a matter of fact, we are to “count it all joy” when we meet various trials (v. 2). He says to rejoice in a trial. While that seems strange, James says it has a purpose. It is push-back or resistance, which in turns enables us to be stronger. Like lifting weights, the bar can come down and crush us, or we can push it back up over and over, and the weight actually builds muscle. Here he says that the testing of our faith produces “steadfastness,” which allows us to become complete in our faith, lacking nothing. We grow in holiness, becoming like the Lord. Remember, Jesus Himself was tested and passed. We won’t always pass, which is why our trust is in the One who has. However, we are called to grow and to become mature. Christian, what is your attitude of trials? How does it match up with what James is teaching? May the Lord be with you.