James tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (Jas. 1:2).
Why would anyone be happy about a trial? Wouldn’t life be better if we never had any troubles? The answer is no.
The fact is life without hardships and difficulties would rob us of essential character building opportunities.
When we have trials, we have an occasion to grow. Specifically, James says, “the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jas. 1:3, 4). An athlete must undergo trials (training) to perfect his skill and increase his strength. Without the hard work and challenges experienced in practice, the athlete would not stand a chance when in competition.
As the child of God goes through a trial, he learns and grows. His character and faith are shaped and strengthened. He understands better how to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:11-14).
Take Joseph as an example (Gen. 37-41). He was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. He then became the chief servant in Potiphar’s house. He was thrown in prison and rose to the top. He was eventually elevated to be the number-two ruler in all of Egypt.
Our trials may not be as tough as Joseph’s, but they will be hard in their own right. To get through them, we must depend on God as Joseph did. This is what James meant when he said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5). If we keep our hearts and minds focused on God and His Word, we will get through any trial and be better, stronger, wiser.
So, welcome trials. View them as opportunities to mature in the Lord and as preparation for greater service in the kingdom.