CHRISTIANITY AND TRIALS
James 1:2-8 looks at the Christian's attitude toward trials. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
"COUNT IT ALL JOY." The joy of trials comes when one stays faithful through trials. It brings joy when one comes through a trial with His eyes still focused on Jesus. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." (Hebrews 2:9).
"LET PATIENCE HAVE ITS PERFECT WORK." Patience is the quality of perseverance or steadfastness. (Romans 5:3-5.) Patience has to do with our loyalty or commitment to God. Patience leads to Christian maturity.
"LET HIM ASK OF GOD - WISDOM." Christians go to God to gain the wisdom necessary to deal with trials. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
"LET HIM ASK IN FAITH." Without faith Christians cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:6.) Do not allow trials to cause you to doubt God or His care and love for you. Always believe that God knows what is best for you, wants what is best for you and is active to bring about what is best.
The person who does not have faith in God through trials is "unstable" and vacillating because of being "double-minded". With a strong faith, always anchored in God, Christians can say with Paul, "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19.) Trials will come but God is there caring, loving, helping and blessing through good times and bad.
To become a Christian, you must hear God's word and believe (John 6:44-45), you must repent of all sins (Acts 2:38), you must confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and you must be baptized to be saved (1 Peter 3:21). It is the desire of Jesus that everyone be saved. He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30.)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA