The key to experiencing joy when confronted with “various” trials is knowledge: Continue reading . . .
The key to experiencing joy when confronted with “various” trials is knowledge: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for [because!] you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3). This isn’t barren, abstract ideas in the head, but a perspective on life that is shaped and fashioned by looking at things from God’s point of view. Paul said much the same thing in Romans 5:3-4 –
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Simply put: Outlook determines outcome! For as long as you have any doubts that trials and afflictions are divinely orchestrated, you will never persevere through them and experience the change that God intends them to produce. Knowledge of God’s sovereign and providential control of all things, both good and bad, is the foundation on which victory over despair is built.
Trials have a unique way of “testing” (James 1:3) our faith. They do it by exposing to us all that is fake and superficial in our relationship with God. If we only love God when he makes life easy, we don’t truly know him or value him or treasure him above all else. Trials force us to ask ourselves a tough question: Is the glory and beauty and value of God more important to me than earthly comfort and prosperity? See 1 Peter 1:6-7.
The end product of this testing is something James refers to as “steadfastness” and Paul describes as “endurance.&rd