“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 ESV
James is one of my favorite writers in the Bible. His book is great for practical Christianity. Some of what he says seems an oxymoron. Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds does not seem possible. People do what they can to avoid trials and tribulations.
But James knew what Jesus did; we are blessed when people persecute us (Matthew 5:10-12). Jesus knew that there was joy on the other side of his death (Hebrews 12:2). Testing of faith helps us become steadfast and steadfastness produces maturity and completeness in Christ. The strongest trees are those that stand against the wind. The strongest athlete are those that weigh down their feet and arms until the race day. Christians will find true joy when they come through trials to win the great prize (Philippians 3:14-15).
Dear Lord and King, In all your greatness help me to see my trials as opportunities to become what you are calling me to be. Help me mature and be steadfast.