Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4, NASB)
What do you do when you encounter a hiccup along your life journey?
You count it all joy.
This has been tough biblical command for me to follow. Usually, when I encounter difficulties I want to complain, worry, fret and try to get things done my way. But here, James says we are to count it all joy. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
In this passage, trials means “periasmos” in the Greek. It means: “adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness” It denotes events and circumstances which haven’t been caused by you. Some trials are caused by our own poor decisions. Other trials are sent by God to test our character, faith and holiness. They are like pop quizzes sent from heaven to test our maturity.
I had a trial like this when I had a miscarriage years ago. My husband and I wanted to have a child but nothing happened. When I finally was pregnant, I miscarried. I was so sad and distressed, I didn’t know how to pray about it. I felt my faith failing.
Then I read this passage from James. Afterwards, I mustered up my inner strength and said aloud to God: “I thank you Lord for this trial which you have allowed in my life. Now, I have an opportunity to mature my faith and trust in You. Lord, I thank you that you are the Father of spirits and that little one’s spirit is now with You. And I trust and thank you in advance for the little ones you will send to our family in your perfect timing.”
I stopped complaining and bemoaning my situation to others. It was tough but whenever I felt worry and fear creeping at the door, I thanked God for the opportunity to mature my faith even more. In the process of time, God blessed us with a child and now we have another one on the way.
If you are encountering a trial right now, count it all joy. Verbally thank Him for the opportunity to exercise your faith in that situation. It’s tough but by His grace, you can do it.