“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ“
II Timothy 2:3.
There are times when hardships come to us as part of our profession as soldiers of the Lord, hardships that we must endure. These trials of our faith are never allowed to come our way with the purpose to destroy us but to refine us. The more we overcome, the stronger we get and the more mature we become in spiritual matters.
Observe what James and Peter told the Church:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing“
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ“
I Peter 1:6-7.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” James says. You aren’t counting it joy because you love pain or like to go through trials, no. You count it all joy because the testing of your faith produces patience. Patience (Perseverance, endures) comes out from within you when you go through trials. Then he says But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Patience must have its perfect work in us.
There’s is also a refining of our faith by the trial of it. Trials have a way of bringing out what a person really believes. The trials of Job confirmed his faith in God. The way that Paul and the other apostles reacted to the persecutions and trials they faced confirmed their belief in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When the followers of Jesus were persecuted, their reaction wasn’t ‘Lord kill them all,’ it was:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus“
Amazing, isn’t it? Their reaction to trials wasn’t to ask for strength to attack, but for boldness to continue to preach! They counted these trials all joy. They considered it an honor to be opposed like our Lord was opposed. Their reaction was to push on ahead confirming the fact that they really believed this Gospel. Their faith was being refined.
Guys, let’s count it all joy when we face trials which most times come as hardships. Sometimes an empty bank account, or a marriage on the rocks, a persecution at your workplace the loss of a loved one, a damaged relationship. Sometimes, like in Job’s case, The Father allows these trials to come our way, to activate patience and refine our faith. Let’s begin to react the right way to trials. Let’s count it all joy and in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thessalonians 5:18).