"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2-3

This well known text above is often quoted and rightly so, when we need reminding that difficulties in life are often God’s way of testing our faith.

Of course as the text makes clear, this has to do with trials that test our faith, in order to produce a stronger, an enduring faith in Jesus Christ. 

Some trials we suffer can be a result of God’s disciplining hand because of our unconfessed sin and blatant disobedience. God will discipline those he loves. (Heb. 12:4-11). 

The point I want to make here is that when “various” difficulties and trials come, that is, the kind of trials that invade our lives unexpectedly, and are not necessarily of our making, we need to respond in a right manner.

Uninvited, negative circumstances will come into our lives. The question is, how will we react to such things? We call these circumstances, the providential dealings of God. God is in every circumstance and that is why when ‘bad things happen’ we respond carefully, having a healthy fear of God, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

I like what pastor Jerry Wragg our Instep Conference speaker of two years ago states in his book;  ‘Exemplary Spiritual Leadership’
“When we’re angry with people and circumstances, we are really lashing out at God’s good providence. Instead of kissing the hand that afflicts us, we’re demanding that God order our lives by our script, our assessment of people, our comfort level.”

Even though life in the Lord is “sweet” the “bitter” moments of life need not produce anger and hatred, but be viewed as God’s providential dealings with us and so count it all joy!