Tag Archives: James

Enjoying Trials or Joy in Trials

Enjoying Trials or Joy in Trials

By Carolyn Dale Newell

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 NKJV

No one can honestly say they enjoy a trial, but James encourages us to look for the joy within a trial. We must seek the long-term silver lining in every storm.

The phrase “fall into” implies being plunged into difficulties. Situations that aren’t a consequence of our choices. Sudden and unexpected torment invades our lives and overwhelms us.

Tribulations test our faith as well as increasing it. Troubles also produce patience, which we need because we have a tendency to race through these tough seasons. When we rush our storms, we miss out on God’s purpose: the patience, joy, and perfecting work of God. Not that we achieve perfection before heaven, but we are made complete.

Failure to endure hardships means we will need another opportunity to get it right. I am no fan of lingering in times of affliction, but I prefer to get it right the first time.

The Greek word for patience is “hupomone .” It refers to an active endurance. While we are not passively waiting, we must seek God’s direction about what He desires for us to do.

My first major test of faith as a Christian was my husband’s leukemia. I learned a lot during those years. I discovered more about God’s grace as I suffered through depression and a breast cancer scare. When my vision took a drastic decline, I understood more about the refining fire we endure. The previous problems passed, but the visual impairment continues. God’s grace and mercy surround me. I consider my blindness a privilege, because it has been an honor to watch God accomplish His work in me and through me. That is my source of joy.

We baked Iva a cake today for her fourth birthday. Yes, a cake for my guide dog. If we had pulled it out of the oven early, it would have fallen apart. If we left it too long, it would have burnt.

God has perfect timing, and He knows just when to remove us from the fire. Faith, like precious gems must undergo a refining process.

Allow the words of James to help you through the sickness, the brokenness, the grief, the financial setback, the problem at work, the problem at home, and the depression. Search until you find that joy. Remain in the fire of testing until God says you are done. Perfect. Lacking nothing.

Trials don’t come to hurt us, but to help us.

Lord, we hate tribulation, but we submit to Your timetable, so that You may have Your perfect work in our lives. Illuminate the joy we desperately seek. We trust You in our mess. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read James 1:2-8 and verse 19.

HIKING THE TRAIL

You are either in a trial, just coming out of one, or heading into one. Keep a journal of the joys, big and small, that you encounter as you pass through the fire.

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

A Passion for Patience

A PASSION FOR PATIENCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

James 5:7-8 NKJV

I lack patience like a dying plant lacks water on a hot day. However, James has stirred up a passion for patience within me.

James gives us several examples of patience. First, Jewish farmers planted their crops in October when the “earlier rains” came. The “latter rains” arrived in spring right before harvest. Farmers cannot rush their crops. They must wait for proper growth and maturity.

The next example is the Old Testament prophets. Men like Jeremiah, who endured much suffering, knew the meaning of patience.

Finally, Job exemplified great patience. Amidst his great suffering, he had a wife who wanted him to curse God, and his friends badgered him. Job was blessed for his patience when God restored to him more than he had lost.

James penned the command to be patient. He instructed us to be established which means we need to be stable and committed. When the trials come, we must trust God knowing He is in control of it all. We must not waiver because we know He has a purpose in suffering even when we don’t understand it. That stability will help us remain patient rather than seeking an escape from the trial.

Most importantly, James warns us about grumbling. Patience is not the ability to wait, but it is the ability to wait with peace as we endure trials. That comes with complete trust in God.

James reminds us of Christ’s return. We know that a day is coming when suffering will cease. That realization is comforting during our struggles. Let’s patiently wait for the Lord’s return, and meanwhile, let’s be passionate in our pursuit of patience.

Dear Lord,

Fill me with Your patience. You have been so patient with us, but we are lacking. Help us endure trials with peace and complete trust in You. Thank You Jesus, amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read James 5:7-12.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Join me as I pray for patience. Many people fear the result of a prayer like that, but I know our loving Father only has our good and His glory planned for us. Each time you feel impatient, pray, asking God to flood you with His perfect patience.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.