Daily Bible Reading – 9.7.2021
James 1:1-4, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
This is one of the most difficult instructions in all of Scripture. “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.” The New Living Translation says, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” The Message says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.”
It is easy to agree with this when things are going well, but when we see the horrible effects of instability, unrest, and persecution around the world and the devastation of flooding and wildfires at home, it is challenging to think joyfully. When we add in our own personal trials of broken relationships, illness, death, financial struggles, vocational uncertainty and temptations, it seems impossible to choose joy.
Even though the experience does not make us happy, James challenges us to think differently about tests as gifts and opportunities to create an enduring spirit within us. Without the trials and troubles of life, the necessary quality of perseverance will not have the chance to develop and grow within us.
Endurance is the pathway to bring us to the deepest place of spiritual maturity so that we receive all the resources of heaven empowering us to go the distance and be faithful to Jesus. This is why we dare to look at trouble with a different outlook.
Questions to Consider:
Are you experiencing such a testing in your life right now? Are you able to think about it in such a way that God can do a deeper spiritual work within you?
Weekly Memory Verse:
James 1:2-3, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.