Persevering through Trials

The book of James found in the Bible gives us some good advice when we meet trials in this life:
  1. Count it all joy (1:2): Trials are not purposeless but are meant for our good (Rom.8:28). They change us from selfish people to people who depend on God. It is an honor to suffer like Christ because we are then experiencing what He went through. Not everybody is deemed worthy of suffering.
  2. Ask God for wisdom (1:5): We don't have to worry about making all of the right decisions on our own but we can ask God and trust that He will guide and direct us. Psalms 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act."
  3. Understand the big picture (1:9): Everybody goes through trials and often our trials are insignificant compared to what other people have gone through. We need to understand that trials are for God's glory not ours.
  4. Persevere to receive the crown of life (1:12): Our trials and suffering on earth result in blessings in Heaven. Even though we may wonder why were are going through a particular trial we need to trust that what God has prepared for us is even better.
  5. Don't blame God (1:14): It is a result of our sin that we are in the situation that we are in. If there was no sin in the world there would be no suffering. It is a blessing that God uses sin to transform us into His likeness.
  6. Don't forget all of the good that God has done (1:14): While blaming God for our current situation we forget all of the good things He has done for us. God is not just responsible for the bad things He is also responsible for the good  things. Anything that is good in our life is from Him.
  7. We are examples to those who are watching (1:18): As Christians trials are meant to show to a watching world that God is worthy of our trust. Trials are difficult and we can never minimize them but we are not without hope. We know that this life is only temporary and we are waiting for a life to come that is even better.

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