James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
As a former school teacher and principal, very rarely would I see joy on the faces of students when they found out they had to sit a test. Yet when problems, suffering, frustration and the complexities of life impact us, joy is exactly the stance and attitude that James encourages us to take.
In reality, the majority of people will do all they can to avoid the discomfort of life’s tests. Tests can be difficult, disagreeable and disruptive. But the test produces something in God that we could not receive any other way.
Over many years, I’ve observed that the people who have walked through these kinds of valleys have changed.
Their faith has gone deeper.
Their trust has grown stronger.
They have a peace that is unwavering.
The reason we ought to embrace tests is not because of the tests themselves, but for what they do in us.
If you are walking through a test right now, what can you do to change your perspective?
Irrespective of the situation or circumstance, we can be assured of His perfect peace and the opportunity for great joy as we embrace the tests of life.