James 1:2 – 4 —— My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
When a trial comes upon us, we tend to think, “Why me? What have I done wrong?” We may have done nothing wrong. But trials are necessary for growth.
Imagine being a college student, knowing that your progress needs to be measured. How can that be done without testing or examination? If we do away with tests, how do we gauge a student’s growth? Just as we prune a shrub or tree to force it to grow into a more perfect form, so does God, with us
Trials make us better or bitter. We can either be a victor or the victim. However God’s purpose is for us to be strong. Hence we should have an attitude of wanting to know how to become strong while enduring the trial. Once we understand this, we must face the trial as a victor, excited to learn new things.
During the youth retreat there was a young man who came to the centre. He is passionate about snakes, does not allow people to kill them but he catches them and leaves them in the jungle. He came for the youth retreat with six snakes in his car.
He released one of the snakes and showed us how to capture it with the curved end of a stick. He would tire the snake by lifting it with the curved end and finally catch it it by the tail and place it safely in a jar.
God has provided us with a stick called the “Word of God”. This Word of God is specific in detailing our responses and behaviour in times of trials and tribulations. If we obey the Word and act accordingly, our faith grows and we develop patience. We become stronger and these trials no longer disturb and upset us because of the Word within us. Thus we walk in victory!
Waiting patiently is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.