Trials of Life
“A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” - James 1:12
At 13 years old Ryan knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up. Just like his father, he was going to be a major league pitcher. He worked hard, day after day, to make his dream come true, but often fell short. He wondered if God could really build a dream and a passion so big in his heart and let him fail.
Fast forward several years, and it’s evident that God had bigger and better plans for Ryan Hall. A world class Olympic marathon runner and American record holder for the half marathon, Ryan has truly been blessed by God.
God asks us to “consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials.” (James 1:2) This is often the last thing we want to do when experiencing tough times. It’s important to notice that He uses the word joy and not happiness. There’s a big difference. Joy comes from a relationship with Jesus, and happiness is a short-term earthly emotion.
This challenge seems big, but the promise (James 1: 3-4) that comes afterward is simply amazing: “so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” What a promise!
I’m sure 13-year-old Ryan struggled with not knowing what God had planned for him. But in enduring to follow God’s plan, Ryan matured in his walk with the Lord and was blessed for his obedience. His running has given him amazing earthly success along with countless ministry opportunities. So consider it joy, God’s got a plan for you too.
- What kind of trials have you faced recently?
- What was God trying to teach you?
- Have you seen God’s blessings after a trial?
Lord, help me see You in the mist of my trials and replace my frustration with Your joy. In Jesus name, Amen.