James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Trials and tribulations is the first topic that James chooses to tackle in his letter. Why? Because trials are vitally important and we all face them. When these trials do come we begin to immediately wonder how such a trial can possible be cause for great rejoicing. While we desire to grow in Christ our actions soon betray who we really are.
While most of us would agree that we should make the most out of a trial many of us still make decisions that are sure to ruin the trial God has placed us in.
1. You will ruin your trial if you seek a way out.
When trials come our natural reaction to them is to seek a way out. We don’t like the feeling of having our world cave in on us so we strive to do everything we can to get out of the trial. While escape is our natural reaction God sometimes has something far more important in mind than our immediate relief. Instead of focusing on escape, you need to focus on what you can learn from the difficult or painful experience you are in right now.
2. You will ruin your trial if you focus on your trial.
Psalm 42 is an important passage dealing with trials. When we go through suffering and pain it is very easy to get our minds on what we’re going through and it causes our souls to be cast down. In Psalm 42 we see that as long as the psalmist kept his eyes on the Lord everything was fine. This is the same focus that we need to have. We do not walk by sight or feelings – even though we tend to follow these most of all – we walk by faith. You must realize that you have an adversary who works to veer your attention off of the Lord and onto your circumstances. It is easy to get distracted and be drawn away from trusting God. Remember: you began to fear when you are looking at the circumstances and not the God in control of those circumstances.
3. You will ruin your trial if you don’t minister to others.
There is a purpose behind the suffering and pain that you are in. Keep your focus upward and outward. In the midst of your needy time you must focus on the needs of others. Allow the pain and suffering in your life to produce compassion in your heart for others who are also in the midst of trials. Realize that you are not the only person suffering in this world. Let God use you as a channel through which He would minister comfort to his hurting children.
Posted by Caleb