Nobody Knows the Trials I’ve Seen
Verse 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Now that we know that joy is brought by wholeheartedly trusting God, let’s look at the second half of the verse and why it is so important to choose pure joy.
First we will take a moment to notice that James is calling his readers, brothers and sisters. This is important as it reminds us that he wrote this letter to the believers who were scattered by the persecution that had come upon the early church. This familial way of addressing fellow believers was common in the early Church and would have meant a lot coming from James who had been a leader in Jerusalem from the time he came to call Jesus, Lord after a lifetime of calling Him brother. James is reminding the believers through this personal form of addressing them that he is in this with them.
James says, “whenever you face trials of many kinds…” knowing that there would be a “whenever” in our lives. We will all face trials in life. For some the trials may seem more dramatic and for others the trials will be of a lesser value. While some will endure many trails, another will only have to deal with a scattering of them through the entirety of their lives. The thing is that we will all face trials at some time.
James also points out that the many trials will come in varying ways. This is important for us to remember as we love to compare our lives with others. If we are going through tough times in our lives we don’t understand why “so and so” is living a life of ease. We tend to forget that the other person was going through a trial as we were easing through life a few months before.
These comparisons are something that will sap us of our joy faster than most anything. Comparing our lives to others is a way of saying that we don’t trust God or we wouldn’t be questioning what He is doing in our lives. And yes, the trials that we go through in life are something that He is doing in our lives. We can trust that He is working behind the scenes even when we don’t see what He is doing because we are feeling like He deserted us. We need to remember that He said He would never leave us or forsake us. We are His and just as Jesus went through trials in life, so will we.
Making It Personal
When was the last time you went through a trial? Did you look at others and think it unfair that they weren’t going through what you were going through? How can you change how you look at your next and future trials?
Making It Personal Kids
Does it make you upset if you are having troubles when others aren’t? What should you do instead of comparing yourself with others? Does Jesus know when you are having troubles?
Father, thank You for sticking with us through every step of every trial. Thank You for giving us opportunities to learn to trust You wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ name, amen.