God’s Purpose in Hardships
James 1:2-4, 12
Intro: Lecrae “Life is like an elevator, a lot of ups and downs, people pushing your buttons and getting jerked around.” If you were to ask Forest Gump what life was about he would say. “life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you gonna get”
Sometimes people wonder why God allows them to go through hardships, storms in life. Sometimes we forget that life on this fallen world guarantees hardships, difficulties. Lots of ups and downs. Scriptures gives us a great outlook to difficulties in life. Jesus told his followers to expect them. (John 16:33) “In this world, you will have trouble, but be brave because I have overcome the world.”
Peter wrote to Christians who were being persecuted and experiencing all kinds of trials. “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Pet.4:12-13
Peter said going through trials is normal. Don’t be surprised when it happens to you.
Difficulties, trials are not bad things in God’s workshop. God would use them to build great things in us. Therefore, James reminds us to adopt a different perspective when it comes to trials. James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (count it or regard this as an opportunity to rejoice). The reason James challenges his recipients to adopt this attitude is because of what hardships produce in you.
The result of the trials and difficulties you experience are the reason for rejoicing.
Hardships, trials, storms in life come to test your faith. (count it all joy brothers when you meet trials of various kings for you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
We all claim to believe or have faith, but some of us don’t know how strong such faith is. Whatever you choose to believe will be tested, examined, evaluated. Trials are tests to our faith; they tell us whether our faith is strong or weak.
Thomas Manton, a Puritan preacher said: “While all things are quiet and comfortable, we live by sense rather than faith, but the worth of a soldier is never known in times of peace.”
It’s in difficult times that you get to know how genuine your faith is. Hardships test your faith.
The outcome of a tested faith. (The testing of your faith produces endurance, perseverance).
Perseverance brings us to maturity or completeness. (perseverance must have its full effect in you) so that you may be complete, mature, not lacking anything. God allows you to go through trials and hardships to cause growth and maturity in your faith. You cannot be a seasoned Christian if you have not gone through the test.
“Without obstacles, we can’t build strength, whether in physical or spiritual realm.” Andy Alcorn.
No pain, no gain.
“life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene
Only after you have persevered through the storm, then you will find yourself dancing in the rain.
Consider it a joy my brothers whenever you face trials of all kind because God is taking you to his workshop to develop you into a mature person. One that learns how to dance and praise him in the storm.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
God blesses those who patiently endure the test; those who persevere under trials. It’s hard to persevere or remain steadfast under attacks if you don’t know God has a plan in all this.
Expect trials! It’s normal Jesus reminds us go through them with courage because he has overcome the world.
Jesus reminded us that we will have trouble in this world but to be brave during the struggled because he has overcome the world.
When we go through trials or difficulties, God is taking us to his workshop to develop our character; to grow us into the people he expects us to become.
Trials are tools God utilizes to help us grow into maturity. This is why we can rejoice in the fact that God makes something good, something beneficial out of the difficult times we experience. Are you going through trials right now? Persevere, don’t give up! God is not done yet.