Background Story: The book of James is a book of wisdom showing us how to live out our faith in Christ.
Read James 1:2-8
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Big Idea: Times of trials, testing, and temptation are opportunities to mature.
As a teen, I was so hungry to grow up and mature. In James 1, we read about a different sort of maturity…spiritual. It says that spiritual maturity comes from developing perseverance and that perseverance is developed through trials and testing. How does this work?
Verse 5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” This trial, temptation, and test is an opportunity for you to seek God. And as you seek Him in your weakness, fear, or frustration for wisdom, the Bible says, that He “gives generously to all without finding fault.” He is not disappointed in you or expecting you to make it through this time on your own.
These times of testing, trial, and temptation will have one of two results. Either you will spend this time being “blown and tossed by the wind” (v6) finding yourself and your faith incredibly shaken or you will find greater stability on the Rock. Psalm 18:2 says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.” We have the chance in our trial to learn how to hide in Him. As we learn to depend on Him, seek Him, and hide in Him through our storms, we mature. Our faith is no longer based on knowledge, but it’s based on tested experience and relationships.
Maybe that’s why James says to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” When we see the purpose behind our circumstances and that God is using these times to mature us, it changes our perspective. Let’s pray today asking God for a fresh perspective to see our circumstances through new eyes. Pray to ask God to use these times in your life to grow you closer in your walk with Him.