August 21, 2023

James 1:2–4 (NKJV) — 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

I had a professor in college who did not call a test a test. He called them “learning experiences.” I always hated these learning experiences. Multiple choice, true/false seems so simple. Give me a question I can answer with a paragraph, and I will be perfectly happy. We cannot escape tests. They are inevitable. James tells us we are going to be tested in life and we should be happy with it! Really? We are to “count it all joy!”

Joy is not what fills our hearts when we face the tests of life. When the trials come anguish and hopelessness often ensue. Our attitude in testing is important. We can look at the test with gloom and doom, or we can know God allows testing to come into our lives to, as James writes “produce patience.” Trials and temptations are not allowed in our lives to defeat and discourage us. They are great markers to prove our love and faith in God.

The testing of our faith makes us stronger. We cannot deny the testing of our faith. We are tested often. When the tests come in our lives as Christians we are to:

  • Persevere and keep on persevering…never giving in. (Thank you, Winston Churchill, for your wonderful speech.)
  • Take the initiative and exert spiritual energy and effort to overcome and conquer. (This can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The joy in testing is not going through the test. It is knowing God is using these tests to make us stronger and more like Jesus.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2–3).