Timeless truths about trials. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3 NASB It seems odd that anyone would encourage you to have “joy” over encountering trials! We run from trials. We beg God to deliver us from trials. Usually the last thing we do is “consider it all joy” when we go through a trial. So what’s the secret?
We must look at the overarching purpose of life which is to glorify God. Believers glorify God when unbelievers see our good works because of our character. Trials produce the first ingredient in developing character. That is endurance. Endurance is listed first because quitting early only produces shallowness. Actually, giving up early circumvents the process of refinement that a trial produces. By giving up I don’t mean you decide to get out of a trial! But you can “give up” in your mind and heart and develop an attitude that is unteachable and a heart that is unmoldable.
One of the qualities people admire in others is perseverance. We smile with gratitude when we see someone who gives it their all even though they are in last place. Character is not developed overnight. It isn’t developed simply by going through a trial. Many have gone through trials and come out bitter and shallow. Character is developed when we go through a trial with the right attitude – we joyfully embrace it knowing that God is at work through the trial to grow us up.