Hope you had some insights during your prayer time from Day 1 on where you find your identity. Please feel free to share any insights you gain by leaving a comment. Today we will continue digging into James 1.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
There are three main points in the first sentence in this passage. The first is we will face trials and not just one kind of trials, but a variety of them. The second point is the reason we face trials is to test our faith. It is easy to say things with words but much harder to follow them up with action. For example, how many times have you been told not to worry about something? The words are easy for someone to say but it is much more difficult to actually stop worrying. It is the same with our faith. It is easy to say we have faith, but how do we really know for sure if it is never tested?
When have you drawn the closest to the Lord? Is it in times of trial or times of contentment? Most of us draw closer to the Lord when we face challenges because we realize we cannot handle it or do it on our own and we enlist His help. Think about the last challenge you faced or the one you are currently facing, who did you turn to first for help? Did you pick up the phone and share it with a friend or your spouse and get their advice or did you turn to the Lord first?
If we turn to the Lord and seek Him in the midst of our trials and challenges, we will grow in our faith and develop perseverance. The Greek word for perseverance in this passage is hypomone. It means “a bearing up under, patience, endurance as to things or circumstances.” “Hypomone is associated with hope and refers to the quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.” So when we seek the Lord during our trials, He gives us what we need to not surrender but to get through it. Regardless of what you are facing today, take heart in knowing you are not facing it alone; the Lord is right there by your side.
The third point in the first sentence is we are to “consider it pure joy” when we face trials. Our joy comes not from the the trials we face but what happens to our relationship with the Lord when we rely on Him and from seeing Him actively involved in our circumstances. The final sentence in this passage gives us hope that our perseverance will make us mature, “lacking nothing”. When we put our trust in the Lord, we lack nothing to tackle what life throws at us.
Spend some time in prayer today reflecting on trials you have faced, did they draw you closer to the Lord? Did you turn to Him for help and how did you see Him working in the midst of your trials? What trials are you facing today? Turn them over to the Lord, submit yourself to His plans and see what He will do.
- Scripture references come from http://www.biblegateway.com
- Definitions come from “Key Word Study Bible”, AMG publishers