Trials - James 1:2-4
April 15, 2024, 8:00 AM

“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.”

Today I am sharing a devotional by Ruth Graham as an introduction.

“I was swimming in the choppy Mediterranean Sea when suddenly my arm felt as if it had touched a high-voltage wire. Spinning around, I saw a tiny blue jellyfish swimming away. It seemed an eternity before I was able to make it the short distance back to the beach, petrified that I might be stung again. Before long, ugly welts rose on my forearm and back.

Later, as I compared notes with a friend who had suffered the same fate, he said to me, "I hope you won't let this keep you from going into the water."

I hadn't the heart to tell him I'd lost all taste for the sea.

But two painful days later, assured by other beach-bathers that the water was clear, I ventured another swim. My friend's familiar voice boomed, "Good for you! Keep it up!" Long after the jellyfish attack, I remembered those words.

Life is a lot like the sea: full of venomous creatures that attack without warning. I think of baby Christians who, after their first painful encounter, call it quits unless a stronger Christian offers a word of advice, a shout of encouragement. Has anyone around you been stung lately?”

There are times in our life when we will get stung. Maybe that sting will come from people with whom we have made close friendships, and that relationship will suddenly seem to turn on you. Maybe that sting will come with a job or ministry, when you have done your best and something surprisingly unfortunate occurs. Maybe there is a kind act that you did that was misunderstood.

Remember, in our joys and sorrows, the power of God is at work. Our faith grows as we see Him at work.

This week we will see the continuation of the story of the Shumenite woman and her husband who befriended Elisha and showed him great hospitality. In answer to the prayers of her heart God arranged the miracle of birth, but her faith is put to the test through an unexpected trial.

Application: Trials will come. May they be learning experiences to mature your faith.

Prayer:   Lord, You have said in this world we will have trials. Teach me through Your Word to be prepared to face them with scripture. Let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly.