James 1:2-4 - Joy in Trials.

James 1:2-4 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, 
when troubles come your way, consider it an 
opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your 
faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to 
grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is 
fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, 
needing nothing.  

James 1:2-4 (MSG) Under pressure, your 
faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true 
colors. So don't try to get out of anything 
prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and 
well-developed, not deficient in any way.  


   Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll tells 
the story of a man who found himself shipwrecked 
on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly 
built himself a small hut for his protection from 
the elements, where he could keep the few items 
he managed to recover from the wreckage. For 
weeks this man lived in his little hut, surviving 
the hot days and the cold nights, praying that 
he would be found, praying that a ship would 
come. But none came. 
   One day he was out looking for some food, 
and when he returned he was shocked to find that 
his little hut had caught fire and burned to the 
ground. He couldnt believe his bad fortune when 
he went to sleep that night. But when he woke 
up the next morning, there was a ship anchored 
at his small island. The captain of the ship 
told him, We saw your smoke signal, and we 
came to rescue you. 
   What can seem like a disaster may end up 
being a smoke signal to Heaven. There are storms 
that come into our lives not as a result of our 
disobedience but actually because of our obedience. A 
good example of this is Job. What was Job doing 
wrong when all those calamities befell him? 
Nothing. God allowed them to bring about change in 
his life. 
   James wrote, Dear brothers and 
sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, 
consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you 
know that when your faith is tested, your 
endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for 
when your endurance is fully developed, you will 
be perfect and complete, needing nothing 
(1:2"4 NLT). 
   Maybe youre in the midst of a storm 
right now. God has allowed it to make you more 
like Jesus. [By Greg Laurie from Harvest 
Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com] 


   Ever made a mental list of things that 
irritate you? Here are a few I've got on mine: 
traffic jams, long lines, misplaced keys, stuck 
zippers, interruptions, late planes, squeaking doors, 
incompetence, and flat tires. 
   One of these days it should dawn on us 
that we'll never be completely free of 
irritations as long as we are on this planet. Never. 
Upon coming to this profound conclusion, we would 
then be wise to consider an alternative to losing 
our cool. The secret is adjusting. 
   Sounds simple  but it isn't. Several 
things tend to keep us on the edge of irritability. 
For one thing, we develop habit reactions, wrong 
though they may be. Also, we're usually in a hurry 
- impatient. Add to that the fact that our 
daily expectations are unrealistic; there's no way 
we can possibly get it all done anyway. All 
this increases the level of pressure within us. 
And when you increase the heat to our highly 
pressurized system by a fiery irritation or two (or 
three)  BOOM! Off goes the lid and out comes the 
   When it comes to irritations, I've found 
that it helps if I remember that I am not in 
charge of my day  God is. And while I'm sure He 
wants me to use my time wisely, He is more 
concerned with the development of my character and the 
cultivation of the qualities that make me Christlike 
within. One of His preferred methods of training is 
through adjustments to irritations. 
   A perfect illustration? The oyster and 
its pearl. An irritation occurs when the shell 
of the oyster is invaded by an alien substance 
- like a grain of sand. When that happens, all 
the resources within the tiny, sensitive oyster 
rush to the irritated spot and begin to release 
healing fluids that otherwise would have remained 
dormant. By and by the irritant is covered - by a 
pearl. Had there been no irritating interruption, 
there could have been no pearl. 
   No wonder our heavenly home has pearly 
gates to welcome the wounded and bruised who have 
responded correctly to the sting of irritations. 
   J. B. Phillips must have realized this as 
he paraphrased James 1:2-4: "When all kinds of 
trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my 
brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome 
them as friends! Realize that they come to test 
your faith and to produce in you the quality of 
endurance. But let the process go on until that 
endurance is fully developed, and you will find you 
have become men [and women] of mature 
   How many pearls have you made this week?
   When it comes to irritations, it helps if 
I remember that I am not in charge of my day 
 God is. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.] 

   We have a lilac bush in our backyard. I 
planted it ten years ago, and every year I hope to 
see it filled with clusters of sweet-scented 
blossoms. Every year I am lucky to find two small 
clusters on the very top. 
   My grandparents lived in Colorado and had 
a lilac hedge that filled with purple 
blossoms. Rick's relatives in Sweden had gorgeous 
lilac bushes with a profusion of clusters. Why is 
my lilac bush such a bust? 
   I live in California. The weather is nice 
all year round. The sky is blue and the sun 
shines through my window even in the dead of 
winter. The appearance of snow in Sonoma County is 
so rare it makes us ooh and aah. 
   Lilacs need cold weather. Winter snow and 
ice bring an abundance of spring color and 
   Hard times often bring out the best in 
people, too. Some of the most striking stories of 
rock-solid faith in God come from enduring serious 
illness, job loss, personal struggles, or devastating 
tragedy. The worst circumstances brought about the 
most growth - so much so that often these 
believers can look back on their hardest moments and 
remember a strong sense of God's presence. That's 
because when we're faced with the unthinkable, when 
we're in the valley, we realize how much we need 
God. We grab on to Him out of desperation, and 
when we realize He's really there, our faith 
begins to grow. 
   James wrote these surprising words: "When 
troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an 
opportunity for great joy." Why joy? Because troubles 
test our faith, which builds endurance. And 
endurance helps us blossom into the people God created 
us to be. 
   Faith blossoms. Courage inspires. [Earth 
Psalms by Francine Rivers]  

   Moses asks the Lord, "Why have You 
afflicted Your servant?" It's probably a question 
we've all asked God from time to time. "God, why 
have You afflicted me - your servant, of all 
people? I'm on Your side!" For the believer who is 
really looking to understand, there are answers. 
Here's one you may not have considered: Present 
pain and afflictions tend to heighten future joy. 
When is peace the sweetest? Right after the 
conflict. When does a cold drink taste best? When 
you've become very thirsty. When do you appreciate 
rest the most? After hours of hard labor. When is 
joyful company most pleasant? After enduring long 
days of loneliness. The truth is, our 
recollection of past sufferings may one day enhance the 
bliss of heaven. Eternity with the Lord will be so 
much more heavenly to those of us whose faith has 
been tested, battered, and tried, time and again. 
   Dear Lord, I might also say, "When will 
walking across a green lawn or running up golden 
steps be the most joyful? After you've been in a 
wheelchair for fifty years!" I am thankful for life in 
the here-and-now, and even for the trials that 
test my faith. But I am so overjoyed to think 
about stepping through the curtain into my 
Father's house when You call. [A Spectacle of Glory 
by Joni Eareckson Tada and Larry Libby re Num. 

   May I gently but firmly remind you of 
something you know but may have forgotten?  Life is 
not fair. Thats not pessimism, its a fact. 
 Its not a complaint, its just the way 
things are. I dont like it. Neither do you. Ever 
since the kid down the block got a bike and we 
didnt, weve been saying the same thing, 
Thats not fair! 
   At some point someone needs to say to us, 
Who ever told you life was going to be fair? 
God didnt. In James 1:2, he didnt say, 
If you have many kinds of troubles, he said, 
When you have many kinds of troubles. Troubles 
are part of the package. 
   Jesus said, My kingdom does not belong 
to this world. My kingdom is from another place 
(John 18:36). 
   When all of earth turns against you, all 
of heaven turns toward you.  To keep your 
balance in this crooked world, think of home! [Max 
Lucado Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com] 


   Your relationship with me transcends all 
your circumstances. This is why you can praise Me 
and enjoy My Presence in the midst of the 
darkest difficulties. To find Me in such times, you 
have to really exert your faith; but I am always 
   As a Christian, you live on two planes 
simultaneously: the natural world, where adverse situations 
abound; and the supernatural world, where I reign 
supreme. Your trust-muscles empower you to experience 
My Presence even in your hardest times. In 
fact, trials can both strengthen your faith and 
help you discern how much you actually trust Me. 
   I want you to work on strengthening your 
trust-muscles. One way is to fill your mind and heart with 
Scripture. Another is to seek My Face continually. 
Instead of getting stuck in introspection, turn your 
thoughts toward Me. Make it a practice to affirm your 
faith in Me frequently, whether you're feeling 
confident or inadequate. Remember that your adequacy 
rests in your relationship with Me. I make you 
ready for anything and equal to anything by 
infusing inner strength into you! (Jam. 1:2, 3; Psa. 
105:4; Phi. 4:13) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 




If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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