“My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy.” (James 1:2 CEB)
“Why this? Why me? Why now?”
Those are the questions that possess us at the moment. We’re muttering to heaven and to ourself, “It’s just not supposed to be this way.” Life’s not a beach anymore. We want a clear, rational explanation for all of this that has thrown us off the road to happiness and we’d like to have that answer right now, thank you very much.
That’s when coming down the same road, James happens to see us down off in a deep ditch. Stopping to throw us a line to winch us out, he offers us a whole new perspective on things.
It’s not about getting an answer to those questions. We’ll die before we get complete answers to them. Life wasn’t meant to be about forever pondering your problems and thinking about your happiness. It’s about trusting that God has your best interest at heart no matter the situation you’re in. Our life here isn’t meant to be free of things that test our faith. Rather, our loving Father regularly allows our trust in him to be tested by what comes our way. Those tests help us answer the questions we do better to ask.
Who do I trust? How long will I last? Who and what is my life ultimately about?
James certainly has a challenging word for us, doesn’t he? It’s not an answer to all of the questions we ask, but it is the complete answer to the one question we must have answered.
“What do I do now?”
Trust God, not your feelings. Hold onto the line he throws you, not the pain of your problems. Set your mind on climbing up the slope to him, instead of squatting down and swearing over your troubles. For life with him is the beach.
My brothers and sisters, regard whatever tests you run into in life as opportunities for peace of mind flowing from trust in God (James 1:2 DSV)
Heavenly Father, your goodness is what gets me through this life. Help me to not lose sight of you or that truth. Come what may, may I be found on the way of genuine, ongoing reliance on you. In the name of your Son, my Lord and Savior, I pray. Amen.