Everybody has them. Nobody likes them, I’m sure. They pop up at the most inconvenient of times. They are trials. Some are small, others are overwhelming, and they come to us from different sources.
Some trials come from the fact that we are fallen. We make mistakes, we are foolish, stupid, or we allow sin in our lives. When those trials come, repentance must happen before anything else.
Some trials come because we are human. Our bodies age, we acquire a disease or illness, we are involved in an accident or we lose our jobs or find ourselves economically unable to keep up.
Some trials come because we are Christians. Peter reminded his readers, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ.” [4:12-13]
So, if we are going to have trials anyway, why not use them to our advantage? Why not use them to grow closer to the LORD? James says our outlook can determine the outcome. His blueprint is to “Count is all joy when you fall into various trials.”
I seldom put “joy” and “trials” in the same sentence. James wants us to count our trials as “all joy.” I think I need to mull this over a bit. Tomorrow!