"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
When I was a student in school, I hated tests! Tests made me so nervous. I didn't like studying for them either. Maybe that's why they made me so nervous:) But one thing I knew for sure, the tests were going to come and keep coming as long as I was in school. When I became a teacher, I actually liked tests. I guess you could say it was because I wasn't taking them anymore. However, I liked the tests because it gave me a good indication of what my students were learning and what I needed to help them with even more in the future.
James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James didn't say "if" trials come; he said "whenever" trials come. That means trials and tests are going to happen in the lives of Christ followers. He goes on to say in verses 3-4, "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Tests in the lives of Christ followers are important. They allow us to see and to know where we stand in our faith in Christ. Tests help bring us maturity. Tests complete our faith in Christ. And James goes on to say in verse 12, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." I recently graduated with another college degree. Yes, I went back to school, but I recognized something about myself. I actually liked taking tests this time around. I studied and prepared, and I realized that the tests helped me see the results of my work. What I was putting in my mind and in my heart was poured out during the tests. I don't know what trial or test you are going through right now in your faith walk. I don't know if you just came out of a trial or a test or if you are heading into one. But I do know this: God will use it for your good and for His glory! And I believe the tests and the trials that come our way lead to life...full life...eternal life...life that only God can give. Sure, it can be difficult. It can hurt. It can be unpleasant. But we need the trials and the tests! Consider your trials and tests pure joy and know that God loves you and is changing you into the person He created you to be...a person of impact...a person who reflects the light of Jesus in a dark world!