Saturday, December 01, 2012


"Consider It Pure Joy, My Brothers,
Whenever You Face Trials of Many Kinds."
James 1:2
What rational person would consider the trials of life pure joy? Only those who can see the surprising benefit in them. Through the lens of Scripture, we can see that benefit. We are told that our trials develop our character that will produce eternal profit for us; and we are told that the God who allows them always has our welfare in mind. These are things that an unbelieving world cannot see, but they have been revealed to those who will believe.
The book of Acts is an amazing chronicle of the early church. In chapter 5, the apostles who were arrested for preaching Jesus left the court of the Sanhedrin "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name" (verse 41). In chapter 16, Paul and Silas sang praises to God from the depths of a filthy Philippian prison. What kind of mind reacts to trials this way? According to the world, an irrational one. But according to Scripture, only a mind grounded in the truths of the Gospel can recognize the glorious realities behind our temporary problems.
Though James points to the benefits our trials have for our own character, we know that there is an even greater blessings in them. Jesus is revealed in us. His power is made manifest in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10), and participating in sufferings lets us participate in His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). Not only is our character sharpened in painful processes, the resurrection of Jesus is displayed in the crosses we bear. Such trials are worth rejoicing about.
Are you going through difficult times? Don't be despair. Discouragement and depression are not the Biblical responses, only the natural ones. But we live above the natural because the lens of Holy Scripture lets us see beyond the natural. We know the end result of our path. Perseverance results in maturity, and problems give Jesus a stage to show His resurrection power. There is no greater blessing than that. Consider it pure joy 
(An extract from Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)

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