Home > Bible Study, Devotional, James Devotional, Wisdom > James – Wednedsday, March 4

James – Wednedsday, March 4

trial-faithJAMES 1:2-4

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.

Notice the word consider in this passage. It’s a word that means to count or esteem something; to suppose something. In our trials, we’re to consider, count, esteem, or suppose them to be pure joy.

The key to doing this is to know something. In our trials, we need to know (and remember) that these tests are accomplishing something in us. Because of our trials, we’re growing in patience (endurance, constancy, steadfastness). We become stable, dependable people who are not likely to change or waiver because of difficulty. It is much like tempered steel—the only way steel becomes hardened or flexible to that degree is to subject it to extreme heat and pounding.

The same is true of our lives of faith. This is what brings us joy … knowing this truth. Our trials are making us stronger.

There is a danger to this process, however. It’s possible to short-circuit the effect of our trials. We must let them run their due course, and remain under the fire as long as the Lord deems it necessary. We gain wisdom in these things by asking Him (see James 1:5)!

Daily Devotional Book • James Application Questions

1. Someone once said that the Christian is either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or heading into a trial. To the degree that statement is true, where are you in that statement?

2. Do you believe in this process of God? Do you trust Him that He knows what He is doing in your life? Are you confident in His infinite wisdom and unending love, and that He is 100% motivated to produce His best in us? If not, tell Him right now. And ask Him to strengthen your faith and commitment to His ways.

3. How have you short-circuited a time of trial in your life? If you’re going through trials right now, make sure to let the Lord finish His lesson. Make this a matter of prayer as well. Assignment: tell a close and trusted friend about your current trial, and ask him/her to pray for you (men with men and women to women).

Advertisements
  1. Jane
    March 4, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    My honest answer to question #1 would have to be “all of the above”. For the simple truth is that if this is true for us, then it is cyclical. Question #2. YES, I know HE knows far better what HE is doing for me then I do for myself. However, HE often does not share details with me. And I am, by nature, a questioner!

    Question #3 brings me to a HUGE query in my own walk. HOW would one short-circuit a time of trial? Though I confess I might be tempted to do just that, I’ve never found a way to shorten the time of refining. What I do have control over is my response. With HIS mercy and grace I am learning to respond in a more Godly way. Bit by bit. Step by step. (“I believe, Lord, help thou mine unbelief”) This study is miraculously and amazingly right “on target” for me at this very place in my life! Thank you for it.

  2. Peggy
    March 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    “pure joy”
    “rejoice”
    can someone help me out with definitions, please? I need some help in realizing what those terms look like as they are walked out by faith by believers in Christ…if they mean the opposite of worldly ways, meaning, I do not choose anger and “bad mood toxic emotion” in response to my trials, I do understand that…my hope lies in Jesus Christ, yet it’s the day to day walking it out when the trial hits and in the aftermath…ie…rejoicing/pure joy as it relates to death, relational loss, trauma, etc. I’m just not smiling much it seems…has the enemy stolen my joy? I’ve been in a very long and very hard trial, and discovered that Jesus Christ can be depended upon, hallelujah! But I am unsure if I am in “pure joy” mode, or “rejoicing” mode…in my spirit, I abide in His Truths; His Word, His ways…no question, no wavering…but still, I have a check in my spirit…I would not say I am walking in joy…does this make a bit of sense to anyone? I so appreicate the feedback, and hope this is the place for it…thanks and God bless…

  3. kathleen mccoy
    March 4, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Bill, if I may, I’d like to say hello to Peggy and introduce myself as a fellow sufferer.

    Hi Peggy. I’ve experienced the deaths of 6 nephews and nieces and my family has not only suffered that but on top of that, the loss of friends and family as a result of not being able to bear with us the unbearalbe sorrow that comes with that magnitude of loss. So, it has been loss on top of loss. 6 years worth of pain that still effects us today.

    Peggy, just the fact you said that “Jesus can be depended on, hallelujah!” Means you have “pure joy” and you are “rejoicing”. You don’t have to “feel happy” to have “pure joy”… what I’ve learned over these many years of constant heavy heartedness is that “pure joy” is simply “calm assurance” in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead.

    In the middle east, the balm of Gilead was administered to people who had just encountered severe trauma…it would help them not go into shock, but instead, gave them the CALM and COURAGE they needed to get through the devastating moment so that they could think clearly enough to communicate, so that the people helping them would know what to do to get them the help they needed.

    That’s what Jesus does for us. If we trust Him, he gives us “pure joy=calm and courage”. That in itself is easy to rejoice about. HALLELUJAH!!! Rejoicing can be a simple, honest, genuine thankfulness of heart, of Christ getting you through the day.

    Peggy, you don’t have to be smiling all the time. Just be yourself and let Christ carry you through. He is very near you now during your trial and He won’t leave your side no matter how long your trial lasts. He will continue to give you the calm and courage you need each and every day. He won’t leave you even in moments of panic…He will restore pure joy again. Keep trusting Him. I’ll be praying for you, Peggy.

    Thanks for being real…and you totally made sense!! 🙂

    In Christ,
    Kathleen

  4. Peggy
    March 5, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Grace and Peace to all, and to sister Kathleen, with agape and thanksgiving in abundance for your words and prayerfu response to my query.

    You, too, are in my prayers, as I first read of the losses you are enduring when you first typed of it earlier on in our blog sojourn and I am glad for this “response to response” contact; thank you, Kathleen. You are God’s example to me of Christ like suffering.

    You typed: “pure joy” is simply “calm assurance” in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead.

    The tears began there, and continue to flow unabated, but they are Holy Spirit tears, as I take this knowledge, this prayed for wisdom, home to my soul and dwell on it there. I understand what you have typed, completely, I believe, and know it is true. I do have the blessed and calm assurance of Christ dwelling within me. I do not have to smile and laugh every day; I was putting that legalistic contingency on myself, and it is a lie from the enemy. I fell for it. I want to walk in freedom!

    I want to add, because you read and were led to follow up, that the Holy Spirit took me to I Peter 2: 20-21 and 25. I was preparing for Wednesday night Bible Study and we are in Peter and I wanted to read chapter 2 before teaching began, and when I arrived at those verses, the floodgates in my spirit opened to this Truth, this power of the Holy Spirit showing me the truth of the matter…

    I Peter 2:20-21: For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
    vese 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer) of your souls.

    Talk about blessed assurance. I have indeed found it far easier to patiently go through the aftermath and the suffering of a trial that was/is the result of my own sin; but am currently being tried due to the sin of others (not a judgment, just information!) and I am being called upon to walk out the Truth that lives within me by also bearing this patiently, as our Saviour went, as a lamb to the slaughter, SINLESS! I profess to want to be like Jesus, and I am being tested right now like no other time, and being asked to be patient, and to follow in the steps of Christ, apart from Whom I CAN DO NO THING. This entire trial will find me abiding more in Christ, I want to believe, and that is what I pray for, why should I be surprised at what dross has to come forth in order for that to be gained…please, may that not sound prideful, it is the truth of God that we suffer trials sometimes in order to be refined.

    Praise God; I am now returned unto the Shepherd of my soul…thank you.

    What the Holy Spirit showed me in my reading last night, coupled with the beautiful affirmation of such a loving response from a sister leaves me standing more wisely, more firmly, on the Rock this day.

    Yes, brother and Pastor Bill, I parrot my beloved sister Jane, “This study is miraculously and amazingly right “on target” for me at this very place in my life! Thank you for it.”

  5. Peggy
    March 5, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Ah, dear Jane, if I may:

    take it from a retired “former professional runner”…I believe I short circuited God’s way of helping me through a trial by keeping on the run, both from Him and from what I thought would be the consequences of said trial.

    Oh, how gracious is our Lord, when we go to Him IMMEDIATELY instead of responding in our own flesh; my flesh was always in “flight mode” in the past, but thankfully, I’ve hung up those running shoes and I pray, for good.

    Yes, our response is soooo important; I love the sage-ness behind your words…you know via the Godly wisdom within you that you cannot shorten the refining period nor change that necessary process! So why run….why run, indeed? I pray my running shoes will be removed from my closet, not merely hung up and possibly still tempting me to “short circuit” those trials…

    Love in Christ across the miles.
    Peggy

  6. Amy Lindsay
    March 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Greetings beloved of the Lord,
    As I meditated upon the questions and read the responses of the saints the Lord brought some verses to mind and reminded me how He has applied them to my life so I would like to share. The verses are:

    Mark 4:35-41 Wind and Wave Obey Jesus!

    I know in my head the verse “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb 13:5 for I remind myself of it daily it seems.

    So as I see (and have seen) that trial heading my way (knowing that He said “Let us cross over to the other side) I too like the disciples have screamed at the top of my lungs, “Teacher do you not care that I am perishing?” For I have waited until the last moment to seek Him and also said, “Do you not care?” As I type those words I wonder how I could have ever let those words tumble from my lips because is the answer to that question is YES, He died because He cared that much! It was in His response to those disciples that He ministered to my heart. His response was, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

    He showed me that I too waited until the last minute to go to Him, while my boat was filling with water faster than I could bail it out. And when I went to Him it was not in asking for His help (in faith) but in accusation of His not caring (as a last resort). Just as the disciples I had witnessed His miracles in my life (they had witnessed already Him cast out unclean spirits, healing many, cleansing a leper, forgiving and healing a parllytic and so forth) and yet in the very next trial here I am standing before the Lord soaked to the bone and accusing Him.

    So what have I learned? To seek Him immediately and not wait, to remember WHO HE IS knowing how much He really does care, to call into remembrance His power (those standing stones in my life and of those around me) and to ask in faith for His wisdom and trust and know that He intends good in my life (that He will do as He says and is taking me to the other side). I too hope I made some sort of sense!

    Jesus is Lord and worthy to be praised! Oh how He is moving mountains inside of me! I too must say thank you!

  7. March 5, 2009 at 11:20 am

    You’re welcome, Jane. I’m blessed that this study is “on target” for you right now.

    Some people short circuit their trials by eating chocolate; others by buying a new car, or going shopping. Others may get on a ship for Tarshish, figuratively speaking. Others may develop a new hobby or interest. Others may neglect their Bibles or prayer, and become busy. There are lots of ways to short circuit trials.

    If the Lord’s intention is to teach us something, however, He’ll have to take us back to that exact same place. School’s still in session, whether we skip class or not.

  8. March 5, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Very good points, Amy. You have added to the thoughts of this devotional.

    Your comments remind me of how important it is to remember. I/we have too short a memory, and the amazing ability to forget what the Lord has done in my life, especially when I most need to remember!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  9. March 5, 2009 at 11:27 am

    To all: I appreciate how you’re contributing and ministering to each other through your comments. It’s how it ought to be … the body of Christ ministering to itself!

    Bill

  10. kathleen mccoy
    March 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    AMEN!! AMEN!!!! AND AMEN!!!!!!

    Lord, draw near and bless Jane, Peggy, Amy, and Bill in our journey across the River of Life. Help us to do it in a way that is pleasing to You. Thank You for Your grace!!! We love You, Lord! We praise You!

    In Jesus name, AMEN!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: