Trouble comes to all people. James acknowledged this when he wrote: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials” (James 1:2).
Isn’t it amazing that James dealt with suffering at the very start of his letter? By doing so, he acknowledged the universality of trial and trouble. Afflictions, troubles, and difficulties are common to human beings. It is not “if” troubles come to us but “when” they come.
As troubles come to us, they come in all shapes and sizes (“various trials”). What should we do when trouble comes?
First, recognize that difficulty is common to the human situation. Our sinful rebellion has led to a world polluted by sin.
Second, get a right view of trouble. Notice what James does not say.
(1) He does not say that a trial is all joy.
(2) He does not say that trials do not bring heartache. And,
(3) James does not say everything that happens is good or of God.
James (and God, of course) wants us to view trouble through God’s eyes. God wants to use whatever happens to us to mature and to complete us. For this reason James tells us to count it all joy when we encounter various trials. These trials provide us the opportunity to grow in Him and to become like Him. With that goal in mind we can rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance (perseverance), and endurance character, and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4).
Third, let God do His work of maturity and completion. James counseled us to let perseverance have its full effect, “that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). God has a perfect plan for us. He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). God wants us to turn our losses (trials) into gains (completion).
What will you do with your trouble?
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