Life is full of challenges. Some look at such everyday trials pessimistically. To them, life is just a series of pain and suffering. James had a different perspective (James 1:2-4).
James was Christ’s physical brother. During Christ’s ministry, James didn’t believe in Him, even characterizing Christ being out of His mind (John 7:5; Mark 3:21). Later, James became Christ’s follower. After Christ’s resurrection, He specifically appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:7).
During the time of James, his audience buried half of their children, and many of them were slaves. Relative to their trials, a lot of our problems can be trivial.
James taught us not to be alarmed by unexpected and painful challenging tasks or trials in life. Instead, learn to rejoice in them (James 1:2; and 1 Peter 4:12-13). When bad things happen to us, good things could happen in us.
Whether small or big, evaluate our trials through the lens of faith. Learn to look through them and see God at work in them.
The trials may help us see our weaknesses and correct our mistakes. The process can confirm God caring for us and help us experience His faithfulness and love.
Beware that many of these challenges can take a long time to resolve. Be patient. Ask God to show us the direction we should go and give us the strength to get there. Learn to endure and persist in pursuing what is good, right, noble, beauty and true.
Then the trials can produce perseverance, which will help us develop a mature character, giving us the ability to live with poise and confidence, regardless of our circumstances (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5); and giving us hope for the future glory (Romans 8:18).
Look at Christ. He went through unfair sufferings and torture, but He persevered till death. Then, He experienced the joyful and glorious resurrection.
So, when we face trials, persevere, and do not quit. Don’t let them get the last word. Have faith in God. Learn from the process, and experience God’s presence, comfort, and care. Learn to rejoice in them. Resurrection will come, and we will experience the glory.
Summarized from a John Ortberg’s sermon