“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever 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
What would you say to someone who told you the correct response to being dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend was to laugh and smile? You’d probably tell them they were nuts.
Read James 1:2-4. Is James nuts? According to our previous example, he would be. Not so fast . . .
We would call someone “crazy” who had a reaction to something that was completely the opposite of a normal one. But what Scripture teaches us is that God’s ways are often the opposite of what you might expect. Consider it joy when face trials? How is that possible?
Facing difficulties because of being identified as a Christ-follower teaches us perseverance. It teaches us to take the hit and keep going. James says this perseverance is what helps us grow in our faith relationship with Christ. You want that, don’t you?
When you are made fun of or face trials because of your relationship with God, you are actually drawing closer to Him. So, embrace it. Don’t look for trials. And don’t run from them. Accept that being an outcast for the sake of Christ is part of following Christ. James says it’s actually a beneficial part of following Christ. Sounds nuts? Not quite . . .