2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)
This was one of the first snippets of God’s Word that I ever memorized. I have shared it with countless people who were going through a tough time in life. I have prayed this godly counsel as I’ve held the hands of friends who were battling with the death of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, or the uncertainty of the future. I can quote these verses on demand. Yet, I still struggle to do what James urges me to do when tough times come my way.
When I am struggling with troubles in my life my emotions tend to kick into overdrive. Sadness, worry, anxiety, and fear tend to try and consume my heart and my mind. Even though I’ve learned to never trust my emotions I still battle with them often. They are like an involuntary reflex, they come as naturally as breathing, when the trials of life come my way.
I’m continuing to try and put into practice the truth of James 1:2-4. When my emotions are firing on all cylinders I have to force myself to “consider.” The Greek word for “consider” means to “think.” I am to use my brain to think about the truths of God rather than the circumstances of life. God’s Word tells me that there is a purpose in my struggles, in the trials of life. The trials of life develop perseverance in my life; making me strong like an athlete who lifts weights. The development of perseverance in my life leads to my becoming more and more mature in my faith and my reliance upon the Lord. When the trials of life come my way I have to consciously remember these truths and recite them to myself.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will help me to remember Your truth when the trials of life come my way. Help me to remember that You are at work in the trials of my life.