James 1:2-3

It has been said that our values determine our evaluations. If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us. If we value the material more than the spiritual, we will not be able to count it all joy when we fall into different trials. If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter people, not better people. If we respond well, however, then the test works to our advantage. The word ‘testing’ can be translated as ‘being approved.’ God’s approval of our faith is precious, because it assures us that our faith is genuine and maturing. Without the trials, our faith could not be proven!

Through testing, God wants to produce in us patience, endurance, and the ability to keep going when things are tough. Endurance is not a passive acceptance of circumstances. Rather, it is a courageous perseverance in the face of suffering and difficulty. Endurance cannot be attained simply by reading about it in a book or listening to someone give a lecture on the subject. We must go through the difficulties of life, trust God, and obey Him. The result will be endurance and character. When we realize this, we can face our trials with joy. We know what trials will do in us and for us, and we know that the result will bring glory to God.

How might you better endure trials today when you understand the way that the Lord is using them to stretch your faith and make you more like Christ?

“Father, help me to value the trials of life through an understanding that You use them to make me more like Your Son. As exercise strengthens the muscles, even so trials strengthen my faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

For more, read Hebrews 11:1-40