"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials" (James 1: 2).
Contrary to the world's way of thinking, when we find ourselves in a trial, indeed it is an occasion to be joyful. And certainly we can be because God's word tells us we can be. Anything God tells us we can do, He will enable us to do it, should we choose to trust Him.
Here are five reasons why we should rejoice in difficult times:
1. We get to test our faith. It is one thing to talk about having faith. It is quite another to see if we'll use it. That's the test. The test is passed if we endure the trial. If not, then we know how much more we need to pray to surrender to the faith that God provides.
2. Our character is revealed. Trials expose things about our character that we might not see when things are running smoothly. Consequently, we are humbled and our desire is increased to be more like Jesus.
3. God draws closer to us. He is especially sympathetic to a broken heart and saves those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34: 18). His comforting presence comes with peace in the midst of our stormy hearts. We will get to talk to and listen to Him in ways that we don't when times are good.
4. We become mature Christians. God is prepared to help us endure and will reward our suffering by perfecting, confirming, strengthening, and establishing us as firmly rooted in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 5: 10).
5. A royal crown of life awaits us. The endurance is all worth it because it cannot compare to the riches in glory that await those of us who persevere in trials. Our trials and tribulations cannot compare to "Well done, good and faithful servant." As co-heirs with Christ we get to inherit and reign over all there is.
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