Trials Are Inevitable – April 5, 2016

James 1:1, James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings. 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Philippians 4:6, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday, we began looking at what James the brother of Jesus said about trails. He said in James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials…” Did you hear that word, whenever? You see, trials in our lives are not a question of if we will have trials. No, it is when we have trials. So, the first thing James tells us about trials is that trials are INEVITABLE. And that word trial means a hardship, a pain or a difficulty. A trial isn’t stubbing our toe, or having a busy schedule, not at all. The kind of trial James is talking about is something like cancer, divorce, bankruptcy or another serious problem.

James said they are inevitable as long as we live in this world. He also said we should have “pure joy” in the midst of a trial. But just how do we do that? The Apostle Paul gives us some insight in dealing with trials. He says in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul says we are to pray, give thanks, ask God for directions and then trust God with the situation. In other words, we can only have joy in a trial when we give it to God and trust Him.

So, the first thing James tells us about trials is that they are inevitable. Join me tomorrow as we continue to walk through the book of James.

Think about it and have a blessed day!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D