Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 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. 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. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
We have been camped here on these verses for several days now, looking at what it takes to be able to consider a trial to be pure joy.
How far along this path are you?
Do you feel like you’re unable to make progress?
We know that to be able to view trials as joys we need to be grounded and mature in our faith. We also recognize that to have this mindset we need wisdom. Wisdom generally comes to us as a result of experience with God and with answered prayer. It’s not something that can be learned-it’s knowledge that’s been internalized such that it flows through our lives, thoughts and actions. Wisdom about the things of God comes as a result of sticking close to God.
In James 2:5 we’re told that if we’re lacking wisdom we should “ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
There is beauty there in God responding to us when we realize we don’t know what to do and bring dilemmas and problems to Him. God seems to honor us when we come before Him in weakness and confusion and ask Him to point the way.
He likes being asked for directions!
And He’s not going to judge you for being lost! He’s going to generously give you the wisdom you seek.
You’ll receive His wisdom through reading His word and by listening to Him when He speaks to you.
Perceptions do not generally change overnight, nor is it possible to immediately re-frame our thinking to view trials as sources of joy. But we can start by saying, “God, I want to see this situation through your eyes and I want your wisdom to deal with it. Help me to gain spiritual joy as I see you work in this situation.” Then pray over the situation and trust God to lead you on the path you need to go. Ask Him to show you what you need to know. And be willing to act on what God teaches you.
This active engagement with God on our perception of trials will lead to more spiritual joy as God leads us through the peaks and valleys of our lives.
All the Best in 2013!