“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”
James 1:2-5 NIV
As the Yearbook Club advisor, I have been teaching my students how to take well-composed, captivating, and interesting photographs. Early on I trained them to take pictures using different perspectives. Frequently, we take pictures using our normal range of vision. So I coached them to capture images using a bird’s point of view and a worm’s eye view perspective. This changes the picture dramatically and causes a shift in the way you or your audience interprets the picture.
James 1:2-5 points out that when we face trials we need to consider it pure joy. This is very much opposite to what we normally do. We don’t equate trials and problems in life with joy. However, akin to taking pictures, looking at challenges through different perspectives can dramatically change the way we perceive or deal with them. This adjustment in our perspective takes wisdom. God gives us that wisdom.
A baby learns to walk by first crawling, standing, falling, and pulling himself back up. Being a parent, it is not easy for us to see our children go through difficult times. But they are necessary growing steps. That applies to our challenges in life as well. As difficult as it is to admit it, we learn through and from them.
One of our pastors constantly reminds us when he prays, “Thank you God, that You love us the way we are, but You love us too much to leave us the way we are.” I believe God allows us to go through trials so that we discover His faithfulness. As we do, we can lean on Him, endure and mature in our faith.
Trials and troubles in life are unavoidable, but we have God’s faithfulness and promises to rely on. We can approach our problems and challenges in life making molehills out of mountains or we can make mountains out of molehills. We can choose the way we view things in life and remember that “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways.” Isaiah 55: 8 (NIV). We can remember that our God is bigger than our problems.
Jesus tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV).
Together let us take heart, my friend. God is our life editor. He knows us from every angle and perspective. He is for us and has declared victory over the world. He is the One who can change the scenario in our life. The only One who can provide an incredible picture of a life of abundance, love, joy, peace, satisfaction, and contentment in Him, no matter what our circumstances are at the moment.