I don’t know about you, but considering the trials, traumas, and temptations of life as opportunities for great joy isn’t natural. I have to make a conscious choice to do so.
That’s exactly what James is telling us here: make the conscious choice to LIKE the fact that your endurance, and thus your character, is being built up – not that the thing is happening.
We understand this concept when we’re talking about muscles and stamina. We go to the gym, we walk or run or jog miles, we build up from where we start to where we want to be.
To build and strengthen muscles, we first have to get moving – go to the gym or trail or workout room – then to push those muscles beyond their current limit and push a little more. We break them down to build them up to become stronger and healthier.
In our faithwalk, we start out against God and the first step is to choose to surrender to Him. Then the pushing begins. That pushing/breaking down comes in the form of trials, traumas, and temptations. Each one breaks something down in us to build us up and make us healthy and strong in our faith.
With our bodies, we can choose to stop when the muscles ache and we experience pain or we can choose to lean in, work out again and again to build our muscles up to optimum strength.
With our faith, we can choose to turn and run when sickness hits, divorce comes, death visits, abuse is inflicted, temptations rise up (and much more) or we can choose to stand up against that which seems impossible to bear and praise God in the midst of it to gain endurance and grow our character to look like Jesus.
Your opportunities for great joy probably look different than mine, but we can move forward in our faith the same way: consider those things in life meant to derail and destroy you as amazing tools useful for building your healthy faith in Christ Jesus.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.