I don’t know if I know anyone who enjoys facing hardships. Most would agree that we like our lives as comfortable as possible. Sure, a little adventure now and then is ok as long as we have some control of things. But no one enjoys dealing with the trials of this life.
Then why on earth would the Bible tell us to rejoice in affliction? James 1:2-4 reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” As we’re told here in this passage, a good work is completed when we are tested. It is the process we must take to become steadfast and strong. And I firmly believe that difficulties can become our testimony to a dying world around us.
- When a husband loses everything because of an addiction to pornography, we can learn from his mistakes.
- When a wife teaches about the end of her marriage due to lies and infidelity, we gain wisdom from her experience.
- When the bullied or outcast find peace and sustenance in God we can rejoice in their discovery.
- When a drug user rises above their addiction through the knowledge of God’s saving grace, it’s God who receives the glory.
Through all of these examples, difficulties were allowed because it was the only way for that person to grow. And in the end it is God who should receive the praise. Our trials and temptations become our testimony only if we’re willing to share them. It is there and only there where we find our true strength in Christ!
“For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10)