“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.” James 1:2-4 (Phillips NT)
Trials! We all experience them. Life is hard. Did you think being a Christian would be easy? The fact is, it’s impossible. It is supernatural! That’s why it takes Christ in us. Apart from His presence indwelling us, we would be incapable of handling the pressures and problems life throws at us. How does God expect us to handle them? Read today’s Lectio Divina out loud to yourself. As you consider the trials and temptations you are dealing with, ask God what He is saying to you about them. Let the wisdom of His Word guide you with understanding how God may use those trials to develop your character. Just as resistance builds strength, the pressures and problems of life can produce in us perseverance.
Read the verse again and reflect on what God is saying to you. I like the word “process” in that passage. Faith is a process, not a product. It takes time, and God is at work using the pressures of life to shape me into the image of His Son.
As your read it again, ask yourself what God wants you to do? How can you respond differently to those problems? View them as opportunities in disguise.
Read the passage again, and this time consider how God may change the way you think about the trials and issues you are dealing with in your life. Listen to the affirming voice of His Spirit as He turns intruders into friends to build your faith. Rest in the reality that God is at work, and let the process continue until you reflect the likeness of Christ.