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Faith & Life: Have You Learned to Profit from Your Trials?


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Have You Learned to Profit from Your Trials?

Growing in Patience as Your Faith is Tested

by J.M. Troppello


In asking myself that same question – have you learned to profit from your trials – my answer is yes and no. Sometimes I learn from them. Other times I don’t. However, as I’ve grown as a Christian, I feel that I’ve learned from trials I’ve endured better than when I first got saved at the age of 14.


2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8, NKJV)

This passage from James 1:2-8 is a well-known Scripture about growing in your faith in the Lord as you endure trials. Testing of your faith and difficulties in this world is a part of life. Those things don’t go away once you get saved. Many times, it seems as if they get even worse. Yet, thankfully, life is generally a series of hills and valleys. Not all the time is good and not all the time is bad. However, I am thankful that God is with me each moment of every day.


Growing in Faith


James starts this passage by telling the believers to count it all joy when they fall into various trials. I remember the first time I read those words. I couldn’t understand how someone could be expected to have joy through a trial. But I know differently now after years of being a Christian.


That joy comes because I press in deeper into my relationship with the Lord – and don’t pull away. His peace truly does pass all understanding (Phil 4:6). My joy comes from the Lord and that joy is my strength (Neh. 8:10). James tells the believers the following three things about trials:


  • Trials lead to the testing of your faith.

  • Faith that is tested produces patience.

  • Patience is God’s way of perfecting His work in you.


However, trials can also make you bitter, NOT better. It all depends on your attitude and who or what you are focusing on. When you focus on God through the difficulties, He will help you navigate the trial more easily. If you focus on the pain and trouble, it will become extremely easy to get bitter over the experience. That can be detrimental to cultivating growth in your relationship with the Lord.


I love the note from the Thomas Nelson Study Bible (TNSB) about verses three and four:


“The word translated testing of your faith occurs only here and in I Peter 1:7. The term, which means ‘tested’ or ‘approved,’ was used for coins that were genuine and not debased. The aim of testing is not to destroy or afflict, but to purge and refine. It is essential to Christian maturity, for even Abraham’s faith had to be tested (see: Gen. 22:1-8). The meaning of patience transcends the idea of bearing affliction. It includes the idea of standing fast under pressure, with a staying power that turns adversity into opportunity. If a believer endures a trial, he or she will be perfect, meaning ‘having reached the end’, and complete, meaning ‘whole.’”

I love how the note states that patience that transcends the idea of bearing affliction stands fast under pressure and has a staying power that turns adversity into opportunity. I can totally relate to that.


In verse 5, you can read that God will give wisdom to all who need it. “The wisdom God gives is not necessarily information on how to get out of trouble, but rather insight on how to learn from one’s difficulties (see: Prov. 29:15). It is not more information about how to avoid times of testing, but instead a new perspective on trials. The wisdom of God begins with a genuine reverence for the Almighty (Ps. 111:10) and a steadfast confidence that God controls all circumstances, guiding them to His good purposes (Rom. 8:28).” [Source: TNSB]


One important lesson I’ve learned in my life as a Christian is that God has the best in mind for me. That’s not necessarily what I have in mind. However, He is focused on cultivating true spiritual growth in my life. That happens when I go through trials with a heart of obedience.


Have you learned to profit from your trials?



Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.

 

About the Author


JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.


Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Visit MSS Live Well Corner and our Ko-Fi MSS Community.



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