Christians aren’t those who easily "throw in the towel." If there's one constant in life, it's that trials beset us throughout our short lives. God never guaranteed a life of comfort. Instead He gave trials as an opportunity to grow our faith.
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials," James said in the first chapter of his letter to the Dispersion, "knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience" (James 1:2-3, NKJV).
James' charge to "Count it all joy" can easily leave a sour taste in our mouths, especially when we look at it from an inward point of view. The hardships of life bring tears, pain (both physical and spiritual) and broken hearts. These ordeals can leave a distasteful view of life in our hearts when we don't guard our hearts.
When I read at this passage, I'm fully convinced that God uses trials to teach us to persevere. God teaches us to endure until the end. Instead of throwing in the towel, we keep at it until we enter His rest. Christians need this endurance because some trials last for years, and on to the end of life.
The joy we experience doesn't grow out of the symptoms. The pain and heartaches are real. Instead, joy comes when we realize that our faith will grow stronger as we work through each trial. God promises to give liberal amounts of wisdom (see James 1:5-8) to counter the effects of the trials. This joy helps us through these ordeals of life.
Out of these trials grows a greater reliance on God. Trials teach us to trust God more and more. Instead of enhanced self-reliance, trials sharpen our reliance on God. Patience has a way of making us complete and ready to serve the Lord.
Are we those who throw in the towel? No way! Trials boost our faith in a way few other events in life can. God uses them mold in us an attitude of waiting. Not all trials are joyful. Joy comes because we realize our faith will be strengthened.
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