At any given time in our lives we will experience frustrations, hurts, pain and suffering. As Believers in Christ we may wonder why we face such dark moments or adversity once coming to know Him. After all, weren’t we promised a more abundant life in Christ? Shouldn’t our new life in Christ have less difficulty than our former life? The honest truth is we still live in a fallen world, we still have an enemy, and there is our Sanctification, or spiritual maturity process we begin at Salvation.
In James 1:2, James talks about the testing our faith.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The purpose of these trials is not to make us miserable, but to growth spiritually. This tells us that God loves us so much that He is not just going to just leave us the same way as when He found us. He wants to build us up to to be steady or unchanging so we can be complete, lacking nothing. He does not tempt us (James 1:13) but uses situations and circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28). Wow! That is awesome to know.
Even so you may find it difficult to “count it all joy” in the midst of a trial. At times in the past I found myself much like the Israelites wandering the desert. Like their murmuring and complaining keeping them from the Promised Land our attitude can also keep us going in circles. So fall to your knees, and face before Almighty God and surrender fully whatever it is you are going though to Him.
Something to consider? Would we seek God as much if it were not for the valleys, and trials we go through in life? I thank Him for these times even though there may have been heartache or sorrow simply because they left me with nothing to do but fall to my knees before God. They were the quickest path to Him. To raise my hands up, giving Him thanks and praise. Why? Because my situation, regardless of how bad, does not change who God is and what He deserves from me. He has a purpose and a plan beyond the temporary difficulties.
Ultimately, our reward is not necessarily an answered prayer in favor of what we are seeking or immediate relief of the situation although those things are possible. It is communion with our Heavenly Father. It is growing our relationship with Him. It is allowing Him to work in us, so that He can work through us. And the greatest reward?
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12