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Trials lead to trust

October 1, 2017

These verses in James are probably among the most familiar ones. Greeting cards. Memes. Posters. T-Shirts. Artwork. Songs. Holy Hardware.

It seems to be one that Christians will use to encourage other Christians when they are going through a trial.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Unfortunately, the comforter seems to think it is sufficient to only quote the very beginning: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials.”

They seem to think a Pollyanna approach is sufficient to the crises of death, divorce, wayward children, unemployment, homelessness, disease, etc.

Look for the silver lining. God’s got something great in store. Things will get better eventually.

Malarkey.

In the midst of the trial, you don’t want to hear those kinds of vain attempts to ease the pain. And since they aren’t biblical, you don’t need to hear them – or say them to your friends, either.

Look at the whole paragraph:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

You don’t rejoice for the trials.

You can rejoice in what God is going to do. “…the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

When you get hit with the news, where do you turn? Where’s your strength? What’s your worldview? Where’s your faith?

Do you keep trusting God – not because He’s going to make it better, because that may not happen until heaven – but because He is God?

All-powerful. All-knowing. All-wise. Holy. Just. Righteous. Loving. Forgiving. Merciful. Sovereign. Gracious. Patient.

You see, if we trust that God will make things better, then our trust in God is dependent on our circumstances. God will fix this the way I want it to be fixed. God is going to give me what I want.

But, if we trust God for who He is, then it doesn’t matter if the crisis goes away, or the relationships are restored, or the disease is resolved.

God will still be God. And that’s where our faith grows. We learn to trust Him, not because He does our bidding – which makes Him a pretty weak deity – but because He remains who He says He is.

And that’s where we become perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Not because all our problems are taken away, but because we have learned that we have everything that we need in God.

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From → James, Uncategorized

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