Key Scripture: James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, 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.”
Suffering is never pleasant, yet James tells us to count it all joy when we are in the midst of suffering. As believers in Christ, we can count it as joy if we make a conscious effort to remember that, in our suffering, God is at work. The Bible dictionary defines the word joy as a state of delight and well-being that results from knowing and serving God. Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God, not something people can create by their own efforts.
Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Paul is not talking about worldly comforts in this passage but about becoming more Christlike in our sufferings. We can have hope and “the peace that surpasses all understanding” because our hope is not in this world. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” We should not be surprised when we go through trials and sufferings. Our Lord Jesus suffered far greater than us, and He did it to bring about salvation for sinners. We can be joyful in suffering when we allow it to conform us to Christ and draw us near to God.
A. W. Tozer said, “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christ-like, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.”
Questions to Consider:
When has your faith grown the most, through blessings or trials? When going through trials, are you hopeful or defeated?
Father God, I thank you for Your gift of salvation, that I can have joy even in the midst of my sufferings. I pray that I will be a faithful witness of Your goodness through them.
Father God, forgive me when I forget Your loving kindness, and I focus on my hurts and not Your glory.