Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many different kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. James 1: 2 - 4 [NIV]
Pure joy is not what comes to mind when we are tested. Joy, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean pleasure, but it does mean something positive.
What tests your faith? It could be illness, temptation, persecution, difficulties with a relationship or the death of a loved one. And yet James insists that we look for the silver lining to the cloud and do not allow the troubles of this life to pull us down. Trials result in perseverance, and perseverance in spiritual maturity – so good comes out of evil.
And many saints can testify that the difficult times in their lives open the door to a deeper faith, a new ministry or a new understanding.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Romans 8: 28:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The Lord does not miss an opportunity to draw us closer to himself. He works for our good through all things, all situations and through every trial.
George Muller wrote: The only way to get great faith is to pass through great trials.
Lord, give me eyes to see the light of your love even when I am in the deepest darkness.
m2o Church Rugby - St. Matthew & St. Oswald