“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
– James 1:2-4
I read these verses to my five-year-old daughter Megan this morning and asked if she felt joy the last time she scraped her knee and needed a band-aid. “No,” she replied, laughing. But according to my ESV Study Bible, these verses are a call to understand suffering from the vantage point of confidence in God’s sovereignty. Trials can be considered pure joy only when we recognize they’re designed by God for a purpose—tests of faith given in order to develop perseverance, which produces mature Christian character. Do I praise God only when I receive pleasant blessings from His hand? Do I want it to be said of me, like Satan predicted of Job, that I would curse God if He took away all He’s given me?
Lord, let my worship not be based on what You give me but on Who and What You are.
More later . . .