Thursday, 2 June 2022
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. -James 1:4
There is a common saying that goes like this: "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!" It is easy to smile at that statement and tough to practise it, but we can relate its principle in the Bible. Throughout the Bible we see people who turned defeat into victory and trials into triumph; instead of being VICTIMS, they became VICTORS. In his epistle, James tells us that we too can have this same experience! Whether we are dealing with trials on the outside or temptations on the inside through faith in God and Jesus Christ we CAN have the victory!
The KEY to turning trials into triumph is in the 4 “To Do” actions found in our reading today:
1. COUNT IT ALL JOY (James 1:2)
We all experience trials one time or other in life. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Trials come in various kinds- some come because we are human; others- because we are believers. Since Satan fights us and the world opposes us, we can expect trials. But our attitude should be: “Count it all Joy.” We see this in the attitude of the Apostles. “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (Acts 5:41). So the first step to turning trials into triumph is to thank God and embrace a joyful attitude.
2. KNOW THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES PATIENCE (James 1:3)
The right knowledge of the value of trials makes it possible to adopt a joyful attitude. As gold goes through the fire for purification and training makes the athlete stronger, trials test our faith and faith tested and proved can bring out the best in us. With this understanding, we can have joy in trials because we know that “…our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2Cor. 4:17 NLT). When the believer sees and takes trials in the right perspective, they produce patience and help one to mature. Romans 5:3 NLT says: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”
3. LET PATIENCE HAVE ITS PERFECT WORK (Verse 4)
Most often, we want to get over our trials or difficulties as quickly as possible; but there are times when the best course for us is to bear up under the trial patiently, knowing that we are under God’s watchful eye. Instead of grumbling and complaining it is best to patiently endure the trial and continue doing good. To become a skilled runner, it requires patiently running mile after mile in training. So too with patience— letting patience have its perfect work is not easy. It certainly requires wisdom which enables us to see the value of our trials and to persevere under it.
4. ASK FOR WISDOM FROM GOD (Verses 5-8)
Knowledge involves information and facts; but wisdom is the insight to properly assimilate and use those facts in the most efficient way. The source of wisdom for a believer is God and His Word. As one goes through trials, one must carefully study and properly apply God’s Word—then even trials can be a source of joy for the Christian!
Thought for the Day: Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.