Stick With What You Know

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1:3

Yesterday we looked at James 1:2, where we were instructed to count it all joy when we face trials of various kinds. James 1:2 is the first part of a sentence that is completed in James 1:3.

Why would anyone count trials joy?

Because we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness (patience or perseverance).

Think about the trials that you have faced in your life. Does James’ claim in verse 3 hold true for you? Have you seen God use trials in your life to produce something in you?

Several years ago I invited a number of guest speakers to speak at Woodbury Community Church for a spiritual emphasis week. One of the speakers was Troy Dobbs, the Senior Pastor at Grace Church in Eden Prairie. Troy spoke on James 1:1-4. There was something he said that night that I’ll never forget. When he came to verse 3, he encouraged those in the sanctuary that night to “stick with what they know.” In other words, when facing trials, remember that God works through them to produce steadfastness, patience or perseverance in us. He is producing something good in us in every trial that He brings our way.

It’s interesting to me that James uses the words, “the testing of your faith.”

Have trials ever felt like a test to your faith? I know they have in my life. And, I have certainly seen a number of my friends go through incredible tests.

In the sanctuary the night that Troy spoke were two friends of mine who had recently lost their teenage son to a tragic death. This precious couple had undergone an incredible trial in their life. Losing a child would be the ultimate of faith tests.  I winced when I heard Troy speaking about trials, thinking that my friends might find the message too tough to swallow. Their son had died just a couple months before. I thought the last thing they would want to hear was a sermon on trials.

I was wrong. That night when the conference was over, my friends came to me and smiled. They said, “Brian, that was exactly what we needed to hear tonight.” Then they began to tell me the ways that they had already seen God working through their awful trial to produce something new in them.

Be assured, God is continually at work in your life. May you trust in His sovereign grace.

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