My first reaction when I face a trial is that I or someone else has made a mistake or done something off track to create the problem. As a result, I feel like there is a solution and if I apply it, the trial will be resolved. I want to “fix” it so that I can keep going about my life.
But as I read James 1, I’m learning that trials are not necessarily always caused by something gone wrong…but instead a powerful tool that God uses to draw us closer to Him so that we can learn to depend more on Him and His power than our own. I’m also learning that, even if if the problem is because I or someone else blew it, God can and will still use it to draw me closer to Him.
James 1:2-4 says:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be perfect and complete, needing nothing. And I’m learning more and more every day that those things only come from how much I trust and depend on God and the grace that I have been saved by through Jesus. But trials are often the means by which God gets me closer to what He wants to be true in me.
God’s timing to reveal something to me is always so perfect. Right now, in the season I’m in, I’m facing a pretty big trial. And for awhile I was trying to figure out the solution so that the frustration and pain would go away. My trial isn’t a direct result of any one action or mistake, it’s just one of the valley’s in life. After reading this passage in James and sitting still to listen to God (something I am not generally very good at), I’m realizing that the trial isn’t necessarily there just so I can pray my way out of it and go back on with life, but instead to draw me closer to God, growing my endurance and transforming my character to be one step closer to complete.