James 1 tells us that BELIEVERS will face trials. My first thought (based on a few that I am facing right now): “Oh boy is this ever true.”
Second thought (based on the Spirit’s leading): It is really important that we understand this TRUTH, so that we do not “faint or grow weary”
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” Galations 6:9
but rather “stand firm”
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” 1 Peter 5:7-8
and even” count the trials as an opportunity for great joy”.
“Dear brothers and sister, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2
It is in understanding this TRUTH that we learn to persevere
We must also understand that these “trials” may somehow tempt us away from God; and sense we know that “God does not tempt anyone”, we must be extra alert and cautious of the devil, the believer’s enemy, when troubles come our way.
Third thought (again by the Spirit’s leading): How? How, in the middle of our trials, do we perseve? The Spirit whispers – listening to and living the Word … keeping your eyes on The Father. It is vital to our endurance. For the Word keeps us FOCUSED on GOD who is our strength in times of trouble.
“The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him” Nahum 1:7
“He will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, all whose thougths are fixed on Him.” Isa. 26:3
Even now as troubles press in … the thoughts of them luring me away from these lessons from James – I hear the Spirit whisper My child:
“Do not be afraid for I am with you, and do not be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Without a doubt, perseverance is laced with difficulties but in the end there will be the richest of blessings – and it will be worth it all.
“A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12