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Faith When It Is Tested

James 1:2–3 (ESV) … “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

Verse 2 speaks of trials are of many kinds, but believers can triumph over them. Verse 2 presents a command concerning trials: consider it pure joy, … whenever you face trials of many kinds. This does not suggest that we should seek out trials. Nor are we to pretend that enduring trials is pleasant. They cause pain and difficulty. Still, we should look at trials as an occasion for joy because of their potential for producing something good in us. This calls us consciously to develop a positive attitude toward trials, quite contrary to our normal response. Similarly, Hebrews regards trials as the discipline a Father gives to help us share in God’s holiness (Heb. 12:10).

Verse 3 explains how believers can show pure joy as they face trials. We are to realize that God intends the testing of our faith to produce perseverance. Without these trials, some character would be undeveloped. God also uses trials to purge and remove defects from immature faith.

Perseverance suggests endurance or stamina. It does not refer merely to the ability to hold back the discouraging results of a bad temper or remorseful self-pity. It also includes staying power that believers can have because they trust their God. Tested faith becomes spiritually tough and rugged.[1]

[1] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 257–258). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


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