“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2)
All of us met a trial when we turned the calendar from 2019 to 2020, a year-long trial that spilled over into 2021. That trial erupted into painful symptoms of health struggles, job loss, loneliness, depression, and estrangement.
Ordinarily, we do not meet trials by appointment. We encounter them along the way. Like a lion laying in wait, they surprise us and pounce. The cancer diagnosis throws us for a loop or the unexpected major expense sends us reeling.
James urges us to consider it all joy when we encounter such trials. We are to run to the trials with welcome embrace because our God waits for us in the trial. He wants us to experience the strength of His everlasting arms.
In adversity we can have opportunity to know more intimately the promise of His presence: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).
James speaks of trials of various kinds. Trials come in all shapes and sizes, intensities and durations. In his letter James alerts us to variations through persecution, sickness, financial struggle, and temptations. But with each and every trial we are assured of the presence of our God and the sufficiency of His grace.
“Gracious Father, sharpen my eyes of faith to see Christ with me and Christ for me.”