Reflection: The theme of ‘trials’ appears at least twice more in the letter of James (2:6-7; 5:7-11). It is an important theme. We do not know the details of the trials in this case, but in the ancient world Christians often faced severe social pressure (or worse) because of their faith. James urges his readers to consider these trials in the broadest perspective, seeing difficulties as an opportunity to develop “perseverance” in the faith, on a journey towards wholeness. Christians, of course, do face pain, suffering and even persecution. James encourages us to see trials as “joy” in the sense that God can use our circumstances to shape us to be everything he wants us to be.
Question: “Joy”, “perseverance” and “maturity” are critical words in this passage. What is the connection between these ideas?
Prayer: Father please use all my circumstances to shape me into the person you want me to be. Help me to have your perspective even on the hardships of life. Amen.