Trials are designed for you. They’re chosen by God specifically to grow you. So choose joy, respond in joy, be internally thankful for varied trials. For James 1:2 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds”. These trials can be an internal or external pressure, a financial problem, a physical illness, a disappointment, a criticism, fear or stressful relationship. All of which may result in a disturbance to your peace, an upset to your comfort, and even a strain on your joy. But James challenges us to look at the hardships of life in a different light. Notice that trials are not a sign of God’s displeasure, but rather an instrument of God that brings perseverance into our lives. The verse continues with “…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” [verse 3]. James also wanted to explain that our personal trials are a test of our faith and that the daily difficulties we face in life help to develop our character and mature our spiritual walk.
In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, some of the seed fell on soil that looked like a real Christian was born, but when the trials, affliction, and persecution hit, the so-called fade away from the faith. Matthew 13:20-21 reads “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no roots, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” In those verses, Jesus shows that hard circumstances and persecution cause marginal followers to fall away. Their emotional decision and lack of commitment is exposed by external pressures–life’s trials.
So when difficulties hit, choose joy–determine to be joyful. Focus upon the promises of God’s Word, trust the Lord who sacrificed all to save you and depend on His Holy Spirit to manifest joy in and through you. You will grow into a godly person and you will be an incredible witness for Christ and more.