James 1:3-4

“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

We don’t like ourselves to appear weak. How many of us can relate to Derek’s experience of being exhausted from working out but being too embarrassed to stop because it would make him look weak? I know I can relate to that! And none of us actually enjoy suffering right? … except Ultramarathoners of course.  :)   If we’re honest we’d say it’s very hard to see the positive side of our suffering or trials.  But here James is saying that we need to allow this, “testing of our faith” to have it’s FULL EFFECT. Wow, that can be hard to swallow.  But I actually find this to be encouraging at the same time.  Have you ever wondered why God has allowed certain struggles into your life?  Or have you ever said to Him, “Why won’t you change this?” He seems to make us wait and wait and wait when we are in the midst of something difficult!  But we can rest in the truth of Scripture, knowing that God is using it for His glory and ultimate good.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

He is using these things to make us mature, lacking nothing.  That’s good news!  If we will turn our struggles over to Him and rely on Him in the midst of our trials, He will use it to grow us and become our strength.  So take heart! Nothing is purposeless with God, and you are not forgotten.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:58

He is immovable.

Some questions to consider and pray through this week:

“What are some things God has allowed in my life that I would view as a trial? ”

“How is He using it to make me more mature as a Christian?”

“How can I submit myself to God in this trial so He is glorified most?”