James 1:2-4 - An Opportunity for Joy.

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.  


   A wise father who was sending his son to 
college promised to give him a monthly allowance. 
But he told his son, Im not sending you a 
monthly check. If you want it, youll have to come 
home to get it. 
   In the same way, our Father in Heaven 
might say, Ill give this to you, but you 
have to come to Me to receive it. God wants to 
have fellowship with us. God likes to hear from 
us. God likes to talk to us. God likes to bless 
   Therefore, God will allow certain 
circumstances in our lives that keep us dependent on Him. 
If life were all blue skies and green lights, 
would we still turn to God in prayer? If there 
wasnt any illness in our lives, would we still 
pray as much? If we never had a need for Gods 
provision or we never had prodigal children, would we 
still pray? 
   We wouldnt. These things bring us to 
God. Right now, you might be going through a 
difficulty. Maybe youre facing a trial of some kind. 
Youre having a family conflict, problems at work, 
or problems with your health. Maybe something 
isnt going well for you, and youre saying, 
This is a bad thing. 
   Yes, in a way it may be. But it also can 
turn out to be a good thing if it brings you to 
God in complete dependence and improves your 
prayer life. 
   The Bible says, When troubles of any 
kind come your way, consider it an opportunity 
for great joy (James 1:2 NLT). Another 
version puts it this way: Dont resent them as 
intruders, but welcome them as friends! (PH). Could 
you consider trials and temptations your 
friends? You could if they bring you to see your need 
for dependence on God. [By Greg Laurie from 
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com] 


   I had lunch recently with a businessman 
who runs his own company. As we talked, the 
subject of wisdom kept popping up in our 
conversation. So I asked, "How does a person get wisdom? I 
realize we are to be men of wisdom, but few people 
ever talk about how it is acquired." 
   His answer was quick and to the point: 
   I paused and looked deeply into his eyes. 
Without knowing the specifics, I knew his one-word 
answer was not theoretical. He and pain had gotten 
to know each other rather well. 
   It was then I quoted from the first 
chapter of James: "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 of mature character, men of integrity 
with no weak spots" (James 1:2-4, Phillips). 
   There is no shortcut, no such thing as 
instant endurance. The pain brought on by 
interruptions and disappointments, by loss and failure, by 
accidents and disease, is the long and arduous road to 
maturity. There is no other road. 
   But where does wisdom come in? James 
explains in the next verse: "And if, in the process, 
any of you does not know how to meet any 
particular problem he has only to ask God - who gives 
generously to all men without making them feel guilty - 
and he may be quite sure that the necessary 
wisdom will be given him" (1:5). 
   As I see it, it is a domino effect. One 
thing bumps up against another, which, in turn, 
bumps another, and in the long haul, endurance 
helps us mature. Periodically, however, we will 
find ourselves at a loss to know what to do or 
how to respond. It's then we ask for help, and 
God delivers more than intelligence and ideas 
and good old common sense. He dips into His well 
of wisdom and allows us to drink from His 
bucket, whose refreshment provides abilities and 
insights that are of another world. Perhaps it might 
best be stated as having a small portion of "the 
mind of Christ." 
   When we have responded as we should to 
life's blows, enduring them rather than escaping 
them, we are given more maturity that stays with 
us and new measures of wisdom, which we are 
able to draw upon for the balance of our lives. 
   By accepting life's tests and temptations 
as friends, we become men and women of mature 
   The pain brought on by loss and failure 
is the long, arduous road to maturity. There is 
no other road. [Chuck Swindoll 




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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