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,
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
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
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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Restoring The Power by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: