Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | June 10, 2020

Count It All Joy

“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

I don’t know about you, but joy isn’t typically my ”go-to” emotion when I find myself in trying circumstances. But, over the years trial after trial has confirmed that hardships are fertile ground for growth. I have also seen that this growth—being complete, lacking in nothing—isn’t guaranteed, it is merely one possible outcome. So what differentiates suffering that produce growth from trials that are just trials?

James points out several things that lead to the trials that produce joy. First, he says that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. In order for your faith to be tested, you must have faith. So without faith, trials can’t produce spiritual growth. Second, you must steadfastly cling to that faith. Recently while studying this passage in a group, someone pointed out the word “let” and that changed everything about how I read this passage. We are not passive in the process of maturing through trials. We must choose to let, or allow, our steadfast faith to have its full effect.

What does this process of “letting” steadfastness have its full effect look like? I am predisposed to grumble when I find myself in unfavorable circumstances. So, for me, this often looks like trusting God enough to accept that He is in control of the trials that come into my life and, based on that, holding my tongue and quieting my grumbling thought. Accepting that God is allowing this trial for His glory and my ultimate good. Lingering on that word “let” and recognizing that whatever this “letting” looks like for you, it is hard but fruitful work.

So, let’s trust God when we cannot see what He is doing. Trust God when we feel like He is not even there. Unwavering faith; steadfastness that leads to joy. The contentment we have when we, in Christ, are lacking in nothing. Because He is our everything.

“Lord, thank you for the trials you allow into our lives. Help us to “let” them produces the growth you desire to see in us.”

For His Glory

Ann Skalaski
TRBC Women’s Life

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