"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." -
Challenges and difficulties are a part of life. We all face them. Oftentimes, these challenges come as a direct assault against our faith. In the face of sickness and disease, will we trust God to be our healer? In the face of lack and shortage, will we trust God to meet all our needs? In weakness, will we trust that He is our strength? In the face of uncertainty, will we look to Him for wisdom? He has declared Himself to be all these things! And we know that His Word is true, and He cannot lie! So, we must rejoice in hope and be patient in tribulation (Rom. 12:12).
According to James 1:3, the trying of our faith is working to produce patience. Patience is the ability and strength to endure afflictions and to come out victorious every time.
Jesus tells us in Luke 21:19, "In your patience possess ye your souls." Preceding this passage of scripture, a time of harrowing troubles marked by war, earthquakes, famine, plagues, unimaginable persecutions, and betrayal is laid out for us. Yet we are encouraged and given hope and a strategy for victory.
First, Jesus lets us know that things are going to get bad. He lets us know that we are going to confront trying times, but He does not stop there. If you notice in verse eighteen of Luke 21, we are given a promise. He promised that "not a hair of [our] head will perish."
He told us about the problem; then, he gave us a promise followed by a plan. What is the plan or strategy to win? 1.) Don't worry. 2.) Don't get worked up. 3.) Wait it out with the Word! Your victory is in your strength and ability to endure difficult times as you stand on the promises of God.
So... count it all joy when you find yourself facing all kinds of temptations, tests, and trials. Rejoice at the opportunity to prove God's faithfulness and power. You can do that when you know something. You must know that the trouble is working for you. It's producing patience. It's producing strength. It's producing endurance. You are being prepared for greater and the scripture declares that you will lack nothing (James 1:4).
The Word of God declares that "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Psalm 34:19). Know that God is faithful and will provide a way out of every temptation and trial that you face (1 Cor. 10:13). The Word declares that we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37) and lets us know that God always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Cor 2:14).
We are victorious! In the end, we always win! All things- the hard things, the unpleasant things, the less-than-ideal things, the inconvenient things, the ridiculous things, the frustrating things- are working for our good.
But we must let patience have her perfect work. We cannot give up, lose heart, or faint. Proverbs 24:10 says, "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." We have to see things through to the end. The end is when we see the materialization of what God promised.
Remember, it is your faith that is being tried. Your faith, in order to stand, must be rooted and grounded in the Word of God and the Word of God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:25) Find out what God has to say about your situation. Settle yourself and rest in that Word.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him...[for] those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:7,9&11).
Wait in faith! Know that every test and every trial equals another victory... another notch under our belt... and in the end, we will be better. We will be stronger and will lack nothing!