Our Persistence in Rejoicing
The Product of Testing – Part 2
Scripture Reading: James 1:5-8
Key Verse: James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Once again I want to look at this powerful passage of scripture that describes the development of true persistence. Yesterday we looked at the fact that perseverance and complete maturity come from our willingness to consider trials as pure joy. Today I want to study the critical key word of this verse: “consider.” Look first at Webster’s definition of the word: think over; examine; make allowance for; be of opinion that; discuss.
The scripture is telling us to “think over” our trials; to examine them and come up with our opinion. We may need to discuss these trials with a fellow Christ follower to help us come up with our final opinion. As we stop our minds from forming quick opinions that our trials are bad or unfair, we can come up with a biblical opinion. Our flesh usually speaks first, both in trials and temptations. We usually cannot trust our first reactions or first thoughts! James is telling us to consider—to think it over—in light of who God is and what He has promised! Our sanctified spirit must have the final say over our flesh! We must conclude that, indeed, these trials are a joy, in light of what they accomplish for us!
This process is not natural. It will not flow out of an undisciplined mind. We must, as the Apostle Paul taught, “take captive” our thoughts. We must decide what thoughts and final opinions will remain in our heads. Here are the facts: God is good and only allows tough times to come when He sees the good that will result!
Father, after thinking it over, I have decided that my trials are tests that I need. Thank you for doing what is best for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.