“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting for nothing.”
James 1:2-4 (KJV)
How are you today? Have you ever been going through a difficult time and cried out to God and not felt you have gotten an answer right away or in the way you would like? Have you ever felt like God must not be listening to you, because you are praying and He hasn’t come through with an answer yet? It can feel discouraging or even depressing when God doesn’t answer us quickly or in the way we would like. Some times we may even wonder if He is still hearing us or even still with us.
However, we are not called to be down, discouraged, upset, or depressed when God doesn’t answer us right away. James writes that we are called to consider these times joyful times. We should be happy about going through tough times.
Yes, I know, that sounds a little strange. Yet, if we can do this, it will help us in ways that we can’t even imagine. We all must go through difficult times. They can, if we let them, have many good results for us in the end. We have a choice. We can let the tough times turn us into mean, hard-hearted people who begrudge everyone and everything. We can allow the difficult times to carry us farther and farther from God. Or, we can choose to learn and grow from these difficult times.
It may not be just that we should consider the rough times joyful, but maybe more correctly that we should consider that we were chosen to go through the rough times as a joyful event. Often times, we have tests in life to move up to the next level. We have kindergarten readiness tests, placement tests, college entry exams, etc. We have interviews and sometimes exams we need to take in order to get a job. Sometimes once we have a job, we need to take an exam in order to move up to the next job level within the company. These exams help test our readiness for something. In some instances, every one gets tested and in some instances only the best get tested. After all, not everyone can move up to the next job level, because there aren’t enough jobs to move everyone up. So, the employee who gets picked can feel happy that he or she was chosen as the best person for the job. We can see, through this example, that being tested isn’t always a bad thing. It can be considered a good thing.
You may feel that it is unfair of God to have “good” people go through difficult times. Yet, even as humans, we tend to be hardest on those we love. And, often, we are hardest on ourselves. Why should God be any different?
So, why does God allow us to go through or give us all the tests? What are we being tested for? Well, the difficult times may test our faith. Again, that isn’t a bad thing. Scripture tells us that the testing of faith, if we let it, results in patience. Patience can help us live a more happy and healthy life. If we allow ourselves, we come to realize that God will help us through and we don’t need to worry. Can you imagine constantly realizing that God is with you and you don’t need to worry? Worry leads to all kinds of stress and illness. We would be in better health if we didn’t worry so much and we realized that God is with us and things will work out in His time.
When we are patient, we can relax and enjoy life more. We aren’t moved by circumstances into feeling stressed and anxious, questioning God and ourselves. We can live our life in a healthy way, knowing that God has things under control and will lead us out of the difficult times according to His timing and will. We know we can rely on Him. So, we set back and “go with the flow”.
Thank you for loving us so! Thank you for being our Creator and Heavenly Father. We may not like it or feel comfortable when we go through difficult times, but help us to count is as “joy” when we do so. Help us to have the faith and patience to set back and know that we are in your good and loving hands. Help us to know that you have this and will help us through it. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for James 1:2-4 (KJV)
*What does James 1:2-4 mean to me?
*Do I have true and enduring faith?
*Do I count difficult situations as joy?
*Do I have patience?
*What can I do to better follow God’s words in James 1:2-4?
Now, it is your turn.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.