James 1:2-4 – 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.

What happens to your faith when you face a difficult time? Do you find that more faith is born from it? Is it merely tested? Is it some combination of the two? Does anything actually happen to faith at all in a time of trial?

James was an early church leader who can help answer this question. In his letter to the early Christians, the first thing he addresses with them is how to handle trials. He tells the early Christians (and you, too) to consider it joy when you face difficult times, not if you face them. It’s no secret that life is not always going to be easy. And when you do face those difficult moments, you can find joy, knowing that it will be used to produce hupomone.

Hupomone is the Greek word for “patience” or “steadfastness.” By using this word, James is saying that as you endure problems, you will build up an active endurance – not just a passive ability to wait for things. Interestingly, the root of this word means “to remain under.” It actually paints the picture of someone choosing to stay under a heavy load, rather than trying to escape. This is what God is trying to create in you! Your faith is built through God’s Word and is tested through troubles. Just like when you were in school and took tests, the tests of your faith will reveal where your strengths and weaknesses are. This can only help you move forward and work with God to grow even closer to Him. So take heart! God is not trying to discourage you or find out if you are sincere in your belief in Him. He is using this difficult time to make you more like Him. How strong is your hupomone today?

Pray With Us

God, You are good. And You know far more than I do about everything that is happening. Life is tough right now. But, God, today I choose to thank You for this trial, knowing that You are using it for a purpose. Thank you that the suffering and trouble of this world can still be used by You for good. God, I want to have a strong faith. Help me. Give me the strength to bear whatever heaviness I may be under right now. Help me keep my feet firmly planted in You, and keep me from running away


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