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The blessing of trials

Written by Myles MacMillan.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV) James 1:2-5

Trials are probably one of the most difficult blessings to appreciate because they aren't much fun when we are facing them. We have an easier time understanding physical trials than spiritual trials. To most of us it makes sense that if you want to become stronger you must work your muscles, the more they are tested the stronger they become and it really isn't any different when it comes to our spiritual strength.

In verse 2 of the section above James says that we should be happy to face trials. How on earth can we be happy about that? We should be happy because we know we will become stronger if we endure the trial faithfully. God puts trials in our life to test our faith. Verse 3 says that the reason He does this is to produce perseverance in us. If we continue to persevere then verse 4 says that our faith will be “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Thanks be to God for building our faith in Him!

When we face a hard test in our life it is a time that we need to draw near to God for strength because it is also a time that the enemy will tempt us to walk away from God. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that right after talking about trials; James brings up praying for wisdom. When we are facing trials we must ask God for wisdom to understand His Word so we know the correct decisions to make. If we sincerely want to follow His will, He will grant us wisdom to make the right choice and persevere through the trial we are facing.

The blessing of trials doesn't stop at growing our faith here in this life either. Verse 12 says “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” We are doubly blessed by trials because they prepare us for our walk with God today and our eternity with Him tomorrow!

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