I’d invite you to take a look with me at the book of James. After a brief greeting in verse 1, James 1:2 makes this seemingly odd statement: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”
Now, we’ll come back to how we are to have joy in a moment, but what about these “divers temptations?” What temptations is it talking about? Is it talking about rejoicing when we are tempted to sin, or the working of Satan? No, rather, we can look at the next verse to see that the subject is the trying, or testing, of your faith: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3
What is your faith? In yesterday’s devotion, we saw that faith can be defined as “a moral conviction of truth,” and that you cannot move very far between the word “faith” and “faithful.” Then we took a quick trip through Scripture to see that the Purpose of Faith is Reconciliation to Christ and His Ways; the Premise of Faith is Hearing and Obeying Christ; and the Power of Faith is in the Person of Christ.
Let’s go back then to James 1:3, and apply our understanding of faith. If I am allowing Christ to live through me to accomplish God’s will (faith in action), then I can rejoice when trials come that test this faith, because they are going to strengthen my faith and dependence upon God by seeking Him for Wisdom (verse 5) and develop patience in the process (verse 4).
I. Trials Develop Tools of Service
If we are convinced through His Word that we are obeying God and living by faith, trials will only draw us closer to God to ask for wisdom, patience, strength, and the tools necessary to serve Him greater, and verve 5 gives us a precious promised that helps us to rejoice even in trials: “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.”
II. Trials Lead to Sweet Communion with God
For the faithful person, trials lead to sweet communion with God, Who loves to hear and answer prayer. He loves to give to all men liberally. He doesn’t upbraid or revile or taunt you when you ask. He promises to give you wisdom. When the God of all the Universe, the One Who created all the World and has all resources at His disposal wants to be generous to you, and give you wisdom in the midst of your trial, why wouldn’t you want to “count it all joy,” and why wouldn’t you want to increase your faith and dependence upon Him by fellowshipping more and seeking His face?