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
Here is a hard truth: everything changes. It feels like a fairly innocuous statement until you’re completely happy with your life, and everything changes suddenly. One day you are completely in love, and the next, you can’t stand your spouse. One day you’re healthy, and the next, you have a terrible diagnosis. You get and lose your dream job.
Life is full of changes and difficulties that can cause us to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. It can be tempting to give up and lose hope during these times. But here is another more encouraging truth: God uses everything. This is why James calls us to persevere through trials and trust God’s faithfulness. James 1:2–4 reminds us that adversities can actually strengthen our faith and produce endurance.
When we face trials, it can be difficult to see any good that could come out of them. However, James encourages us to count it all joy when we face trials of various kinds. This doesn’t mean we should be happy about the trials themselves, but rather, we should be joyful about the potential for growth and transformation that can come from them. Trials can test our faith and help us to become more dependent on God.
James goes on to say that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. Steadfastness is the quality of being firm and unwavering, even in the face of difficulty. When we persevere through trials, we develop this quality, which helps us become more resilient in the future. As we face new challenges, we can draw on the strength we developed during previous trials to help us through.
As we persevere through trials, we can become more like Christ and experience a deeper level of spiritual maturity.
Father, life is full of changes and trials that can be overwhelming. Help us persevere through these difficult times and trust your faithfulness. May we grow in our faith and become more like Christ through the challenges we face. Thank you for your constant presence in our lives and for using everything for our good and your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.