Joy of a different kind
Problems? Challenges? Sufferings? How do u face them? Worried? Stressed? Angered? James taught Christians in his days how to face trials – persecutions and hardships. With joy!
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.
Be joyful – have a positive outlook in the face of hardship. (v. 2) It is beyond being optimistic. It is celebrating challenges and difficulties. Instead of being sad, James encouraged them to be happy.
Why? Because in trials, our faith is tested. How? By persevering. (v. 3) When life is hard, true faith shines. A Christian grows in faith by persevering under trials. To persevere is to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
Perseverance in faith brings about maturity. Challenges in life are opportunities of growth; pathway to be a strong person. (v. 4) Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.
How does one cope with life’s difficulty? Ask for wisdom from God. God gives generous amount of wisdom without question. He does not say how come you do not know. (v. 5) Praying for wisdom is humble dependence on God.
How do you ask? Ask with complete trust – believe without wavering. Firmly hang on in faith. It is not easy to continue believing when circumstances are hard. When we doubt, we are like the unsteady wave – sometimes up and sometimes down (v. 6) Asking in faith needs perseverance – to persist in believing even in the face of the odds – even when there seems to be a long dark tunnel with no end in sight.
What are the consequences of disbelief? No wisdom. No stability. No focus. To be faithless is to have no expectation. Such a person receives nothing from God. (v. 7-8)
Are you in the middle of a crisis? Is life unbearable? Are you burdened with problems beyond your control? Consider it pure joy – a cause for celebration! You will grow to be a mature and strong person. Ask God for wisdom with complete trust that He shall see you through – to the end.