What kind of children will you have if parents don’t allow them to face, endure, or work through difficulties? They will likely be weak, spoiled, lazy, entitled, and immature. And how would we turn out if God didn’t allow us to face, endure, or work through the harsh realities of life? This is why God says through His servant James, "Count it all joy…when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4) There’s another side to consider, especially when tempted to question God in trying times: What kind of parents do you have who don’t allow their children to face, endure, or work through difficulties? And what kind of God do you have if He doesn’t allow you to face, endure, or work through the harsh realities of life?
But we need to go back to this: "Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds." That might seem irrational, offensive, even cruel. (Many have judged God as such.) But the joy is that God loves you so much that He will not allow you to become weak, spoiled, lazy, entitled, or immature. He allows trials in your life to draw you to Himself and to produce in you a mature and steadfast reliance on Him. Your God and Savior is greater than all your trials! Notice He says, "Count it all joy," not 'Count it all enjoyable.' God does not downplay your sorrow and pain in trials. No, He knows what it’s like! It was not enjoyable for Jesus to be mocked, beaten, and crucified. But He stepped into humanity to take upon Himself our sin, the ultimate cause of all our pain and sorrow. Here’s a glimpse into God’s heart: "For the JOY set before Him [He] endured the cross, scorning its shame." (Hebrews 12:2) Jesus considered it all joy to save you, even though it meant dying on the cross! Look to Jesus and see that THERE IS JOY IN YOUR TRIALS.
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Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.