"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."
Sunday, after I finished preaching, one of the members of the church came to me for council. He is in the midst of a trial in his life. He is having a land dispute. Land disputes here are very common and many times turn deadly for those involved. Part of my council was for him to go and read James chapter 1 several times, and then on Wednesday come back and tell me how it can help him through this. At that time we will discuss the chapter and how it applies to him.
The Bible instructs us to “count it all joy” when trials come into our lives. How is this possible? How can we have joy during the hard times? James 1 gives keys to answering this important question. I will discuss two things brought up in James one in helping us answer this question.
First, we need to consider the benefits of our trials. A Navy seal candidate goes through grueling training prior to becoming a Navy seal. He must endure incredible pain and hardship. I have heard only about 30% of all candidates actually finish the training and become Navy seals. Why does the Navy put them through such hardship during their training? Because they know what they will have to face in the future. They know the battles and the enemy that they will face. They know this training helps prepare them to be successful in their missions.
One reason the Lord allows trials in our life is to prepare us for our mission; serving and loving Him! James 1:3-4 tells us how trials build patience, which in turn helps us to become perfect in our faith. We come to a high level of maturity in our faith. We come to closeness to God. A place where God is enough! We are complete in Him. We are wanting nothing. How many of us desire to draw that close to God? The road to this level is paved with trials. Trials are the tool the Lord uses to mold us and shape us.
When trials come, remember they are a tool of the Lord used to draw us closer to Him! This is another reason why our trials are “more precious than gold.”
Secondly, we need to consider the help God has provided for our trials. There is a saying, “Trials will either make you better or make you bitter.” When trials do come, it is important how you handle them. The devil knows God uses trials to help us, so he does all he can to prevent that. He does all he can to try and discourage us. He wants you to become bitter, not better as a result of the trial. In verses five-seven, we have a key to allowing the trials to draw us closer to God. Allowing them to make us better not bitter.
One thing we truly need during times of trials is wisdom. Wisdom which comes from God. When the man came to me on Sunday he needed wisdom. When we have wisdom to handle our trials, we will also have peace in the midst of our trials. One thing I have said, and have heard over and over when trials arise is, “What am I going to do now?”, or “How can I make it through this?” The answer to those questions lies in the wisdom of God.
Notice how easy God makes it for us to obtain wisdom. We simply ask him for wisdom. That’s right! Prayer! Oh, how we need wisdom every day in our life!
We ask God for wisdom in faith. Trusting in God. Knowing God has the answer to our burdens and trials. The disciples were on a ship one day with the Lord, and a violent storm came up. Jesus was asleep. The disciples began to panic. They awoke Jesus in a state of fear, not faith. They did not even ask him to calm the storm, they simply stated, “Master we perish.” Jesus then calmed the seas and asked the disciples where their faith was. Many times we are like the disciples; we panic, not realizing the Lord is in control. There is nothing in your life that is out of His control. Come to him in faith and ask for wisdom. He knows exactly what needs to be done to help you with your trials.