James starts off with “Be very happy when you are tested in different ways.” That sounds completely nuts. However, if the goal is a mature faith, rather than just avoiding pain, things can start to look a little different. While trials may stem from our individual weaknesses, God uses these tests to prove our faith genuine and build endurance. God works with us where we are, to help us overcome sin. The result is blessing now and a crown of life in the end.
1. What do you think of the idea of being happy in tough times? Is it okay to be sad or discouraged?
2. Can you think of a struggle in your life that never seems like it will end? What does endurance look like in that situation? What does victory look like?
Challenge: Take a few minutes to write a list of struggles or testing situations you commonly wrestle with. Then, pray for grace and endurance as you pass through the trials of this week.