Fireworks and MercyHow does it make you feel to know that God understands your human frailty and has mercy on you?
Top Christian Music Videos
Correcting Blind Spots
You know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow (v.3).
In The Call to Joy and Pain, Ajith Fernando, a Christian leader from Sri Lanka, wrote: “The church in each culture has its own special challenges—theological blind spots that hinder Christians from growing to full maturity in Christ. . . . I think one of the most serious theological blind spots in [today’s] western church is a defective understanding of suffering. . . . The ‘good life’— comfort, convenience, and a painless life—have become necessities that people view as basic rights. If they do not have these, they think something has gone wrong. . . . One of the results of this attitude is a severe restriction of spiritual growth, for God intends us to grow through trials.”
This is what James wanted his readers to understand. He began his epistle with a surprising command: “When troubles come your way, consider it as an opportunity for great joy” (James 1:2). James encouraged the Jewish believers to view their hardships not as a punishment or a curse, but as opportunities for rejoicing. He wasn’t encouraging them to enjoy trials or to pretend to be happy in the midst of their struggles or to try to escape from them. He was encouraging them to rejoice during their testings because of their confidence in God and because of the potential outcomes, which included endurance, a seasoned and well-developed life, and the correcting of glaring weaknesses and blind spots.
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen through comfort, convenience, and a painless life—it happens through trials and suffering. Let’s welcome testing and suffering as friends and rejoice during the difficulties, knowing that the outcome will be growth, endurance, and a reward of righteousness.
Trials reveal the level of our spiritual maturity and where we need to grow up.
Read 1 Peter 4:12 and see some additional responses to trials and suffering.
Why is a comfortable and convenient faith potentially dangerous to spiritual maturity? In what ways have trials or suffering caused you to grow spiritually?
- Fireworks and Mercy - How does it make you feel to know that God understands your human frailty and has mercy on you?...read more
- Happy at You - Do you know deep down that God loves you dearly?...read more
- The Shepherd's Voice - Have you ever had an experience where you believe God spoke to you?...read more
- Fearless - How can you learn to trust God more deeply and follow Him more courageously?...read more
- Next Steps - Have you ever made a choice or taken an unwise risk that caused you pain?...read more
- Cleansing and Calling - What does it mean to follow God’s calling in your life?...read more
- Finding Refuge - What does it mean for God to be your true refuge?...read more
- Why Pray? - What do you need to ask God for today?...read more
- Love and Adoption - What does it mean to you to be adopted by your heavenly Father?...read more
- Worship and Service - Why is it so vital for you to worship God with all you are?...read more
- Holy Desperation - Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?...read more
- Insisting on Joy - What would it look like for you to insist on joy this week?...read more
- Hot Water - Where in your spiritual life have you become complacent?...read more
- Remade - Do any areas of your life need to be remade?...read more
- God’s Renewing Presence - What can you do to experience God’s renewing presence today?...read more
- Enduring Hope - Have you lost hope and become disillusioned with life?...read more