Trial or Opportunity

Read: James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (vv. 2-3)

In life, difficult times are unavoidable regardless of our circumstances. But is it really possible to meet the trials and tribulations of life with joy as James suggests? The key to having that ability lies in perspective.

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus gave sight to the blind (John 9), healed lepers (Luke 17), caused the lame to walk (John 5), and fed multitudes (Matthew 14). Each incident of Christ’s miracle-producing power had one thing in common—the need for that miracle. The circumstances were such that Jesus’ power could be displayed. Before he called Lazarus from the tomb, Christ told his disciples that Lazarus’ illness would not end in death “so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). How would our view of life’s difficulties change if we kept that in mind?

We can choose to meet the inevitable “testing of [our] faith” that life brings in varying ways, but God wants us to keep the bigger picture in mind. Just as a blind man’s inability became an opportunity for Jesus to display his power so that others could also see, the difficulties we encounter can be seen as opportunities for us to witness God’s power and experience his love as he cares for us. Every struggle is an opportunity to experience God’s majesty. And that brings joy. —Bill Rumbaugh

As you pray, ask God to help you view trials of this life as opportunities to see his greatness.

About the Author

Bill Rumbaugh is a retired pastor living in Manchester, Maryland.

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Day to Day Advice from James

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