Endurance Through the Trial
There is not a one of us exempt from trials. Everyone in the world lives through trials. They have come, and they will continue to come, in many various forms, large and small. It could be as simple as losing your keys to the loss of a loved one, a fatal disease, an accident, surgery, employment, a financial crisis, difficult relationships with family and friends, persecution, and the list goes on. All of these things touch us in some way or another, and if they haven’t, they will. And when trials come, do you wonder why? Do you become overwhelmed? Do you tend to give Satan the credit thinking it is an attack from the enemy? Or blame others? Well, let’s see what God has to say about trials. (from Godchats)
Engaging with God in the book of James, verses two through four leap off the page in a new way.
“Consider it ALL JOY, my brethren, when you encounter various TRIALS…”
JOY? Really? And not just joy, but ALL joy!
As I LOOK and LEARN about the meanings of these verses, I’m perplexed by the upsidedown messages I hear today, teaching us to pray away our trials, claim victory over our trials, or blame Satan for our trials.
I rarely hear anything about JOY. To study this word in its context is to learn that in this verse, joy is used in relation to something else. That something? Our trials.
Tapping on the word “trials” and dig deeper into the meaning, I discover there are two types of trials:
- God is the agent of the trial. If that is the case, then the trial is for the purpose of proving us, NEVER for the purpose of causing us to fail. (i.e. adversity, affliction, sorrow, or discipline) **If you are hearing teaching that says God NEVER intends for us to have trials and that He wants us only to experience health and wealth….RUN FOR THE HILLS!
- Satan is the agent of the trial, or more likely, a temptation. The purpose of this kind of trial is to cause us to fail. (i.e. experience of evil, temptation to distrust God)
It’s verses three and four where the full IMPACT of His Word strikes my life:
“…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.”
Whether God is the agent of our trial, or Satan is, the kind of trial James refers to is one in which God’s heart is to “BRING US THROUGH in order to encourage us and to prove our faith and confidence in Him.” (app Bible dictionary)
How does He bring us through? This is where I’m challenged to LIVE out God’s Word. It’s clear in these verses that God’s plan for us is ENDURANCE. He does not bring us through trials quickly — at least, not as we think of quick.
Endurance is patient waiting, perseverance, remaining under, or bearing up under – the trial, whatever that trial may be.
The best news about what I discover here is that trials and endurance have a purpose! The dictionary tells me that the “perfect result” in this whole deal is “complete fullness,” “wanting in nothing,” “morally whole.”
Our prayer should be that God’s will be done in any trial and that nothing short-circuits the work of endurance. His will may not be immediate relief, or deliverance. Trials MUST have their perfect work to produce a perfect end result.
Thank you Lord!