Daily Devotion

Not If, but When

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.
It would be nice if we could see the trials in our lives as options, as electives. It would be nice if we could say, "I'm going to skip the trials course."
But trials are going to happen in the life of every believer. Notice that James says, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials . . . (James 1:2, emphasis mine). The phrase, "various trials," could also be translated, "many-colored trials." So no two trials or experiences are necessarily alike.
You will be tested. The question is, will you pass or fail? We must remember that God never tests us without a reason.
God's ultimate purpose is to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ. God wants to produce a family likeness in us. This means that some trials and testings will show us immediate results, while others will produce long term ones.
In other words, there are times when I can come through a trial, look back, and say, "I learned this when I went through that experience." But then there are times when I come through a difficulty, and I can't tell you what I have learned.
But what has happened, maybe unnoticed by me, is that I have become a little bit more like Jesus. He has worked in my life to mold me and shape me into His own image. It's hard to say what has resulted sometimes. But we can know that God is in control. And His ultimate purpose is to conform us into the image of His own dear Son.
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