A Short Course on the Significance of Suffering – Part Four

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”  James 1: 2, 3

Put downs and knockdowns alike often leave us wounded.

Some major trials necessitate that we “walk” as Isaiah 50: 10 says, “in darkness.”

Different people walk in darkness in different ways. Not always, but basically, have you ever thought how men and women walk in physical darkness in different ways? A woman who walks in a dark room at night may stump her toe. How does she react? She grabs it and responds, “Oh, oh, I hurt my toe.”

How does a macho male react? He stumps his toe and hops around grumping, “Who put that chair in the middle of the room.” In reality, he put the chair there about two years before.

Those two types illustrate the diverse manner in which we respond to trials.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? You do what you know to do. Then God reveals what to do about what you don’t know what to do.

You “trust” and “rely upon… God.”

When trials come, “count it all joy.” “Count” is an accounting term meaning to add things up and reach the right answer. Reason results in rejoicing.

Our tests vary.

Our attitude remains constant: “joy.”

Here and now is the time to predetermine your response to what is as of yet indiscernible. 

Jesus gave us a classic example. He spoke of a condition none of us like. Have you ever had anyone misrepresent you? Has anyone ever maligned you by distorting half-truths? The danger in half-truths is most folks believe the wrong half. Jesus knew what it was like and warned His followers it would happen. Then He said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely for My sake” (Matthew 5: 11). “Blessed,” come on Jesus, you have got to be kidding. He didn’t stop there, He continued: “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…” (V. 12).

The Scripture is realistic and I Peter 1: 6, 7 chronicles our response on occasion: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that (purpose clause) the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to the praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

In summary, “Glorify God in your body.” Warehouse it!

The only thing you can really control in this life is your mental attitude. 

Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional. The choice is yours.

Reflect now on James 1: 2, 3: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”