James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
What trials do you find yourself going through? Money trials, health trials, family trials, work trials, or just life in general? We are never guaranteed smooth sailing or an easy life.
Usually at inopportune times.
Yet James says that instead of complaining, giving up, or giving in, take the hardships of life and use them to strengthen yourself.
My first day working at a small hardware store in South Mississippi, the boss sent me into the lumber yard to unload the shipment of lumber. He said that once one of the other employees got back from lunch, he would come and help. That guy never came back from lunch (apparently he took his lunch break as an opportunity to quit). Therefore, I unloaded an entire shipment of lumber by myself. I was hot, angry and in pain. I remember thinking that I had the “worst job ever” during the hours in the hot sun I spent doing back-breaking work. The next day my muscles had never been so sore.
But I got stronger. I was able to handle the next lumber shipment a little easier.
In fact, the more I persevered through the tough parts of the job, the more I got better doing the tough parts of the job.
Life trials either 1) break you, or 2) mature you. The Christian life is a process of maturation. People don’t mature apart from situations that force the maturing process.
So when trials hit, resist the urge to throw your hands up in the air in exasperation, but throw them in the air in a plea of wisdom.
“God help me.”
Do not doubt that the God of grace will help you, impart wisdom to you, and mature you when you call Him by name.