James – Tuesday, March 3
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’ addressees are Jewish believers in Messiah. We know they are believers because he refers to them as brothers.
As believers in Christ, we live a radically different kind of life, a life which is the polar opposite of the way of the world around us. An example of this difference is in the way we deal with our trials.
The word “trials” is the Greek word peirasmos, which can refer to something that tests us, or something that tempts us. In this context, James is using it to mean those things that test us—things that are very difficult for us.
For example, Jesus went through many kinds of trials as He lived in the flesh (Luke 22:28). These trials included extreme weariness, homelessness, abandonment by others, rejection, ridicule, misunderstanding, and ultimately the sufferings of the cross.
The apostle Paul experienced trials due to the plotting of unbelieving Jews against him (Acts 20:19). Later, Paul mentioned his fleshly trial, which was apparently a physical challenge relating to his eyesight (Galatians 4:14).
We believers are to consider it pure joy when we fall into various trials. Rather than run from them or get bummed out about them, we’re to rejoice in them, by faith. This is a major part of Christian life, and must be learned if we are to be mature believers.
Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions
1. Have you experienced the principle of rejoicing in trials? If so, think of an example. What took place? What was the “trigger” that caused you to rejoice?
2. What kind of pressures, difficulties, or pain have you had to endure most recently? How have you specifically dealt with them?
3. Close today’s devotion in prayer. Ask the Father to give you wisdom in your trials, and make a commitment to trust the Holy Spirit to help you with a godly perspective and response toward what you’re dealing with right now.