“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” – James 1:2.
What a challenging command from Scripture. The word “temptations” (peirasmos in Greek) means trials, challenges or problems. Are we really expected to rejoice in the midst of struggle? When issues in life have us so stressed, beaten down, depressed and angered are we really supposed to “count it all joy”? The notion goes counter to every feeling in our human flesh. How can we feel joy when life is pushing us to the limit? Fortunately, the apostle James explains:
”Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:3-4.
What born again Christians must know is that problems that test your faith build Godly patience – which is supernatural. Note that James instructs us to “let patience have her perfect work.” When you seek The Lord in prayer, search your Bible or worship God in the middle of trying times, that patience will build up your faith. It will help mold you into the spiritually strong daughter or son of God The Lord wants you to be. The saints James wrote to were under intense persecution. Hated and viewed as outcasts and traitors by their Jewish countrymen and religious leadership, first century Christians saw their suffering only increase under the reigns of Roman emperor Nero and Domitian who tortured, burned and killed Christians in the coliseum for sport. James encouraged those suffering believers – and us – with the knowledge that each trial allowed God’s Spirit to fill them that much more and their faith that much stronger.
Godly patience is based on an understanding that no matter what problem you are facing – whether it is unemployment, a family crisis, a marriage that is in chaos, loneliness or struggles that make you feel like you will never achieve anything – you know The Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne in Heaven. And with that knowledge the understanding that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.
In every situation you are blessed because the Creator of the Universe holds you as a precious jewel in His hand and no one can cast you out of it. It’s understanding that when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, your Shepherd who led you to eternal life will comfort and guide you through you struggle. It is the remembrance that nothing – not height, nor depth, nor any creature can separate you from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ The Lord.
When you let patience work in you. When you rest in Christ when life is giving you its worst – you can be “perfect” or complete, wanting for nothing because you know that you already have everything. When problems push you to question God, trust in Him even more. Pray harder. Ask The Lord to speak to you through His Word:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – James 1:5.
The Lord will give you the reassurance you need when you ask for it. Be patient and trust in Him. Let The love of The Lord Jesus Christ build you up so that even on the darkest days, you can rejoice, knowing that it is only bringing you closer to your Father in Heaven.