My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…
Focus on Christ
How can you rejoice when trials come? It seems impossible to rejoice when a tragedy, health problem, spiritual attack, or other difficulty comes. How do you face an important character-building trial in faith?
There is a prerequisite to facing trials: start every day with God. If you are not poor in spirit or are not recognizing your need of God, then you will miss out on what He is teaching you through each trial. Trials are not to move you away from God but towards Him. When you begin your thoughts each day with, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name,” you begin your day correctly. When you acknowledge God’s Will in every aspect of your life, the trials you endure will keep your eyes focused on Him. If you are focused on your circumstances, then you will fail to see the goodness of God.
Joy comes when you actively see Him in your life. James used the word count to state what you must do. To count means to lead, command (with official authority), consider, have the rule over, suppose, and think. You cannot count it all joy when you go through various trials if you do not see the Hand of God at work in the trial.
Sometimes you must command yourself by the authority of Christ to do the right thing even when the trial makes you feel out of control. Christ’s control of your mind and heart will always lead you to the Will of God. The security that keeps you from going the wrong way is a mindful account of the Ways and Will of God. No matter what trial you are going through, He will never leave you to yourself. Christ will walk with you through the trial if you are faithful to stay connected to Him through His Word.
Only God knows what you need to develop perseverance and patience. God will provide the trial that prepares you best for what is coming your way. Often, God deals with people or possessions that you love the most. They may or may not have distracted you from following Him, but He certainly gets your attention the quickest when He deals with something precious to you.
Count it all joy when you come to know God better than ever before. If it takes sorrow and trials, count it all joy as you move to a closer walk with Jesus. Remember that Jesus said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me” (Matthew 26:38). His sorrow did not last, because He followed through with the Will of God.
A trial is not punishment. Count it joy that God would test you. For God to take you through various trials is a compliment to your faith, because He sees what you are becoming and what He wants you to become. He commends you by giving you opportunity to deepen your knowledge and relationship with Him by offering you a trial. God will not lead you to sin, but into opportunities to exercise your faith. You may be a disciple of Jesus, but testing shows you the need for growth and development. Don’t fight the trial; rather, focus on God in the midst of the trial. It may be painful, but great joy is achieved when you have God on your side.
Focus on Self
If you focus on self in the midst of a trial, then the trial will never seem to end. Selfish ways generate selfish emotions and struggles. When you focus on God instead of the trial, there is a joyful future in store. No one enjoys the actual struggle. However, the Spirit of Christ living in you can give you joy and peace in the midst of the struggle. Remember, trials do not usually allow you time to prepare. If you are walking with God, then you will walk through the trial with Him.
*Taken from Gifts from God by Kerry Skinner and Alison Veazey. Click here to order your copy!