How to Respond in Trials (James 1:1-8, 12)

Beginning in September 2017, we began a new series on Sunday evenings for youth from the letter of James. Praying and discerning where to begin a new series for the school year, I was naturally inclined to work through a book that wrestled with the daily aspects of the Christian life. Our students, though hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ in multiple settings with many responding by faith, have struggled at times living out their new life in Christ. This is nothing new. All believers should be growing in their walk with Christ and all believers struggle at times, even falling into temptation. Therefore, with these realities in mind, we turn to James for biblical wisdom.

            One area in which we need wisdom is in hardships. Everyone faces trials. No one is immune to hardships, especially Christians. Nonetheless, as believers, we don’t have to face these difficult periods with worry and grief, but find our joy in God (1:2). Joy is not the standard verb that comes to mind in trials. Hence, why should we have joy? God, by His grace, is using trials not to tear us down, but to grow and mature us in Christ (1:3-4). At numerous times, it’s troublesome for us to comprehend this. As a result, there are scores of occasions wherein we don’t know how to respond appropriately. For that reason, we should turn to our generous God in prayer, asking him for wisdom in faith (1:5-8). He will not turn us away! Thus, with joy in God and wisdom from God, we can remain resolute under hardships seeing the ultimate conclusion for believers: the crown of life (1:12). We must view adversity through the lenses of eternity to perceive the ultimate purpose and conclusion of our walk in Christ.

            However, let’s admit now: this is easier said than done. We would confess that at many times, we have turned to fear instead of joy and foolishness as opposed to wisdom with no remembrance of our hope. My prayer is that through God’s word, by the means of the Holy Spirit, we would recognize our only hope in Christ and live in light of that reality. Thus, find your joy in Him today and allow Him to guide you for His glory. Blessings!

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