Most people do not enjoy trials. In fact, most will do almost anything to avoid them. We live in a society today that does not like to be uncomfortable. Everything is about being quick, easy, and most of all cheap. Anything worth having will not be quick, easy or cheap. The blood of Jesus Christ was not and is not cheap, yet it is free. The blood of Jesus Christ was not quick, He prepared 30 years of a 3 year ministry that ended in His execution. The blood of Jesus Christ was not easy, His death was very painful and difficult.
“1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” – James 1:1-13 (KJV)
James was writing to people who were acquainted with the trials caused by their faith. Churches in places like China are growing much faster than in the United States because of the persecution from the government. However, that particular landscape is changing quickly in the United Staes. We no longer have freedom of religion, but rather freedom from religion. (At least freedom from Christianity)
The Greek word for trial is peirasmos. The root of this word means “to assay, to examine, or to put to the proof. Perhaps we are faced with trials to examine our heart or our relationship with the Lord Jesus. Perhaps the purpose of our trail is to put us to the test to show what we are made of. Better yet, perhaps our trials are meant to show others how genuine our faith is and how good our God is.
James tells us not to “fake it”, but rather have a joy that does not come out of obligation. A joy that is pure, unadulterated, all encompassing! To understand how to profit from trials, you must first understand what kind you are in. You may have to repeat the same trial over and over until you understand that man is unstable in all his ways.
Testing of your faith displays the genuineness of your faith. (Perhaps a sign for the unbeliever) A refiner’s fire filters burns out impurities of precious metals likewise testing burns out the impurities of our lives. Our impurities can come in many forms like impure motives or less than proper conduct that the Lord wants removed from our lives. The fire burns those things out of our lives and leaves behind something far more useful for our lives. (Patience and or perseverance) (1 Peter 1:7)
Testing of our faith should lead us trust God more fully than ourselves.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)
Our suffering and trials of life when we give ourselves and our troubles over to God completely. Our troubles should strengthen our dependance on God and weaken our dependance on ourselves. Our trials would not take nearly as long if we would get this concept earlier. (Hebrews 12:1-12)
Trials Produce Perseverance
Cause and effect trials
Galatians 6:7 says “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
For example – If you quit your job, than not having enough money to pay your mortgage payment or put food on the table. This type of trial comes into our lives as a direct result of our disobedience. We are playing with fire when we allow ourselves to be drawn away by our Lusts. We must not be lead by our emotions, but rather by The Word of God. We must stay away from chasing that spiritual high that can be so often addictive, but rather stay rooted in Christ. When we chase those spiritual highs it gets harder to get them each time much like the way a drug addict causes that first high. Our judgement becomes impaired when we are driven by our emotions and our decisions become questionable.
This kind of trial comes from simply living the godly life.
1 Peter 4:16 says “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
For example – A customer complaining on you at work saying that you make them uncomfortable even though you have not ever really talked to them.
You may be the only Bible that some people read throughout the week. You are a bearer of the light in the midst of a dark world. People may treat you poorly simply because of your faith, but when they do hold your head high. You are on the winning side regardless of what the world may tell you. Every knee show bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! When you encounter these kind of trials it is actually a compliment and you should take it as such. The devil will do anything and everything in his power to get you to fail these kind of trials. The devil may win a battle or two, but you must not allow the enemy to win the war! When you fail, pick yourself up and move on. Do not live in condemnation! God is more concerned with your heart and that you are moving in the right direction, he knows that we will fail sometimes. Hold your head high, and march on… Jesus is bragging to the devil about you much like He did Job, so don’t let Him down.
Spiritually Mysterious Trial
This kind of trial simply has no relational or logical reason. At not one we can understand on this side of the grave. (This is the kind of trial that Job went through)
For example – Losing a loved one or a child at an early age.
This is undoubtedly the most difficult type of trial for us to express pure joy. People will be convinced that you had hidden sin in your life that caused it. Do not be surprised if even your family or your spouse may even question if this is God’s judgement. Not asking the question “why” is going to be difficult, but you must ask the right question. What is the right question? The right question is “What do you want me to learn from this God? What do you want me to change about myself? How can I grow from this trial as to not have to repeat this. Show me God your purpose for this trial.” We may never understand the reasons for what we go through on this side of the grave and we must learn to be okay with it.
Patience Produces Completeness
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
Trials can be profitable to us if we entrust ourselves to God more fully than before. God can use our negative experience for positive experiences for others. Without a test, there can be no testimony. Without a trial, there can be no proof that only God could come through in your situation. When we are out of gas and running totally and completely on God’s gas when God can use our circumstances to showcase Himself to others. Perhaps your trials are designed to for you to be able to lead someone to Christ as a result. If we do not get what God has for us to get from our trial, we might just miss the opportunity to use our testimony to minister to someone. People are watching our lives even if we are unaware of it. (Eph 4:13)
Perseverance should continue it’s perfect work and result in a more mature believer. The only person that places limits on what God can do through us is ourselves. When we experience trials in this life it should only makes us more like Christ. God wants us to have a lifestyle of perseverance that will bring out much stronger spiritual maturity. (Phil 3:12. 14)
We should measure ourselves against nothing and no one other than God’s Word and the full stature of perfection that is Jesus Christ. We are not to compare ourselves to others because when we do we get a false sense of security. We think that we are doing much better than brother sandpaper, so we must be okay. That kind of thinking only stunts our growth and what God can do through us to impact others. Our lives are meant to be a living witness to the unbeliever. (Romans 5:13)
Completeness Produces Humility
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
The completeness that James speaks of should lead us to a place of true humility. That humility comes as a direct result of seeing just how much we fall short of the example of Christ.Humility comes into play when we realize the level of grace that we have been freely given to us. (1 Thess 5:23)
Humility should lead to acts of service. Life is most certainly not full of victories, but is certainly full of grace. We must be patience with ourselves, and look towards our inward heart. As long as we are moving in the right direction and not repeating the same sins, I believe God is pleased with us. When we commit the same sin over and over, we are telling God that His blood shed on the cross was not enough to release us from our bondage. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Ultimate victory is ours through Jesus Christ. The crown of life places us into the kingdom of God and that is something that can never be taken away. We are the only ones on this side of the grave that can take our crown away. Life is not always fair, and our victories are not always obvious, but our victory through Jesus Christ should be evident.