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The Trying of Your Faith

Are you suffering through hard times? In James 1, the instruction doesn't seem to make sense for those under trial. James says, "Count it all joy". Are you serious? It doesn't make it any easier when we think about pleasing God in the midst of a trial. Is God just being mean and sadistic? The answer is "NO!" God wants the best for you, though you may not even realize it.
Let's think about the nature of trials. Trials or tests are to be "counted" or "considered" joyful. How so? Trials can be considered a blessing when we consider what they can do in our lives. While it does not mean the trial will be easy, it does mean that God can make something good out of it for the believer. Because we believe Romans 8:28 is true and that God can make "all things work together for good", we have to let difficulties be part of the picture.
While this is certainly true, there is yet another aspect of trials to consider. How do we know something is a trial or a temptation? The fact is that God brings events into our lives. The events may be either a trial or a temptation. The same Greek word is used for both terms, and we determine their meaning in Scripture by the context. It is also true of events that come into our lives. Whether we trust God and they are a trial that makes us stronger or a temptation that causes us to be weaker is ultimately up to us.
We also need to consider what God is up to when He brings events past us. We see Him producing two different types of fruit. One is patience. Patience here literally means "long tempered". Are you a short-tempered person? Do you know what a negative impact that has on your life? God states that patience produces great spiritual fruit. In addition to patience, God also wants to produce endurance. Endurance is literally to "remain under" a trial. This means that we are to build spiritual strength by not running from the difficulty, but embracing it and letting it produce the fruit God wants to produce.
The athlete or body builder that wants to build strength will take up a difficult weight on purpose and do either more weight or more repetitions on the same weight in order to build muscle mass. Will you allow God to help build your strength by patience and endurance in trials?

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