Faith That Perseveres

By: Dave McClung
Be honest. When we hear James say, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,” joy is not what immediately comes to mind amid trials and tests. No one is happy when the difficulties of life come, but there is also no escaping trials and sorrows. They are just a part of life. We live in a fallen creation, and we are a fallen people. At some point in our lives, hardships will come. Wrong will be done to us by someone. Wrongs will be done by us to others. Tragedies will come.

So, how do we handle the various trials that come our way?
We can either be defeated by these trials or strengthened by them.

Living the way of Jesus is the answer, but it can seem like an upside-down way of living.

With Jesus, death always leads to life, surrender always leads to freedom, confession always leads to peace. Trials produce perseverance, patience, maturity, and even joy as we grow in our relationship with Jesus. His way is always the best way because he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Not only can we bring him all our weariness and burdens that trials can bring, but we can also learn from him through them. As we learn from him, we see that his yoke, his way of life, is easy and his burden is light.
Frederick Dale Bruner says this about Jesus’ yoke, “A yoke is a work instrument. Thus, when Jesus offers a yoke, he offers what we might think tired workers need least. They need a mattress or a vacation, not a yoke. But Jesus realizes the most restful gift he can give the tired is a new way to carry life, a fresh way to bear responsibilities. For in the final analysis, realism seems that life is a succession of burdens; we cannot get away from them; thus, instead of offering escape, he offers equipment.”

Jesus gives us everything we need to not just “bear up” under the weight of the trials, but to find joy and faith in him also.
Finding this joy comes from knowing that Jesus will supply everything we need for an abundant life.

James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting of shadow.”

We have everything we need in Jesus and everything we have in Jesus is good. We can trust Jesus to be with us and to work for us.

Joy is always found in the presence of Jesus. Have faith in him.
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