Today’s Scripture: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 1 Peter 4:12

Face it. This life is hard. There are going to be trials, troubles, and disappointments. We may think that these are bad things, but they are not. Rather, they are opportunities to grow in faith. Yes, the situations may hurt and discourage you, but they are not evil.We are told to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2) Are we joyful because they are easy? No. Are we joyful because they are fun? No. Rather, we should thank God that we can grow in Christ because of the trials. James continues, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:3-4)

Trials will come-opposition will always emerge from somewhere. We are told that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) Yet, if we live in disobedience to God, He will discipline us as a father disciplines his children. Difficulties will arise, so we are told not to think that it is strange. Our trials are normal-they’re what God uses to increase our faith. Because He wants to see that our dependence on Him is continually growing, we will continually face adversity in our lives.

It is through the hard times that we can become “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” So often, we want the trials to end, the pain to cease, and the answer to our prayer to come immediately. Yet, it is only through patience and trust in God that we can attain that goal.

Don’t you want to know that the trials God allowed you to face have made you more Christ-like? Thank God that the things you are facing today can help you for all eternity if you let them.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder