September 23, 2019
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
This is a verse I have read over and over and find it difficult to do personally. I have wondered what trials the Church was facing that James references here, so I dug a bit deeper (into that long article).
A couple decades into the baby Church in Israel, the believers were mostly peasant farmers. The wealthy and powerful Jews and Romans in this era exacted taxes and mistreated this group to the point that many were tempted into violent means of revenge. It is into this context that James tells the people to “consider it all joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Why would he say to consider it a joy? The testing of their faith produces perseverance and leads to maturity.
How could they possibly live into this joy? How can we possibly do this in light of what we face today? It is only by his Spirit working in us that we have any hope to persevere in our trials rather than turning to bitterness or cynicism. Let’s look to Him to help us. It sounds pithy, but his power proves strong in struggle.
Lord Jesus, fill us with your power so that we can endure the trials we face each day. Help us to entrust our hearts to you rather than our circumstances. Show us your Presence with us even in the midst of pain. Hold us close to you with your sweet love and protection.
Share with us what you discovered or are thinking about James 1:1-4 today. What questions do you have about this one?
Let’s be kind in our discussion with each other. Please respond to each other’s comments. It is okay to disagree, but please do so lovingly and respectfully. It is hard to put our thoughts out here for all to read. Let’s encourage each other in Christ and look for ways to build each other up in this community.
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October 10, 2019
October 10, 2019