James 1:1-12 King James Version (KJV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Last time we looked at how our joyful attitude played a part in how we turn our trials into victory, and today we are going to look at how our mind fits into that. In particular, an understanding mind. We want to focus on that word knowing in verse 3 today. We as Christians must know, and understand the purpose of trials. The purpose for trials is also the theme of the book of James, and that is Christian maturity. Trials rightly viewed and used, produce maturity in our Christian lives.
It God’s plan for us to grow as a Christian. He wants us to mature. God wants to produce patience, stability, endurance, and the ability to keep going when things get tough. God uses trials to accomplish these characteristics in the lives of His children. You can’t develop patience by reading a book, attending a seminar, or even listening to a great sermon. We have to face difficulties in order to develop patience and endurance. As we read in God’s Word about some of the great heroes of our faith, we see that God has a purpose for trials, and through the believer with the right attitude and mindset God can accomplish His purpose through those trials. Hopefully understanding the why behind the trial can help us face our trials with joy as verse 2 says. Next time, we will look at how us being willing to allow God to accomplish what He wants is the key.