Handling the Trials of Life
Faith and Endurance
Years back, a dear friend was struggling in the aftermath of a lost pregnancy. At the close of church, one Sunday, we prayed together. Through her tears, she asked me, “Do you think God is punishing me? I feel like I have done something wrong.”
“No, that is not how God works,” I responded. “Does he allow us to go through trials? Yes, but He walks with us through the hard times.”
How to Handle the Trials of Life?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds… James 1.2
These trials of life may appear as trouble, adversity, affliction, or temptation, and we are well familiar with them all. Turns out James knew what he was talking about when he said whenever you face trials, instead of if.
Trials will come in this life. When James wrote those words to first century believers, however, he described it as an opportunity for joy.
#1 – View your trials as an opportunity for joy!
Seasons of trouble and trial are a chance to demonstrate our faith in God, and the joy it brings. This is not about pretending to be happy in our pain or struggle, but in having the right attitude.
If you let Him, God will use these experiences as a testing ground, producing in you more endurance and growth—and joy in the Lord (James 1.3-4, Matthew 5.11-12).
#2 – Pray and ask for wisdom in time of trials.
In verse two, James tells believers, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you (James 1.5).” In trouble, trial, or temptation, we need the ability to make the right decisions.
This word wisdom refers to the knowledge and practice of godly and upright living. As a Christ-follower, you need to make not only the right decisions, but decisions that demonstrate upright living. In faith, you can go to God for wisdom in your trials.
#3 – Persevere when experiencing trials.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial. James 1.12
To persevere is to endure; to bear bravely and calmly. If I am being honest, when going through a time of trouble, bearing bravely and calmly may not be the vibe I’m giving off.
In trials, though, I have learned God’s Word fortifies me, increasing my strength and peace. Perhaps this is the bear bravely and calmly James spoke about.
As we lean on God and His Word, we have what we need to persevere through our trials, growing in endurance.
#4 – In a time of trial, ask God to reveal any sin, or temptation.
When walking through hard times, we don’t usually start out thinking about our own weaknesses. As the trial lingers, however, we may begin to wonder—like my friend did in her time of great grief—if we have brought this on ourselves.
As James points out, God cannot be tempted…and He Himself does not tempt anyone (James 1.13). He does not cause bad things to happen to us but does allow us to be tempted by evil forces at work on earth.
By faith, in hard times, you can lift this prayer to God. Ask Him to reveal anything you may need to ask forgiveness for.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me… Psalm 139.23-24
#5 – Be a doer of the Word, even when going through trials.
After writing about going through the trials of life, James encourages believers to not only hear God’s Word, but to do what it says. (James 1.22) Some Bible translations refer to this as a doer of the Word.
When times are tough, we may neglect time spent in God’s Word. There are concerns pressing upon us. We may be exhausted, or in pain. We are in a weakened state, and the enemy knows it.
If ever there was a time to be a doer of the Word, this is it, friend. Stay in the Word and obey. Be diligent in your faith and find your endurance in the Word of God.
The beautiful results, according to James 1.
God’s Word…has the power to save your souls. (James 1.21)
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. (James 1.12)
They will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1.12)
Be blessed in the time of trial, and for eternity, as you continue to obey God and His word.
If you find reading the Word challenging or tedious, search for a bible app with the Word on audio. My favorite app for listening to Scripture is Dwell (my landing page with link to Dwell).