“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3. knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:2-3). We all deal with “divers temptations” or various trials from time to time. As long as we live on this earth, hard times will come our way. How we handle those issues show our character and maturity in Christ.
What types of trials do Christians face? All kinds. We can have trouble at home, at work, with friends. We can have issues with health, wealth, accidents and injuries. A Christian’s trials can be physical, emotional and/or spiritual. There is no area of our lives that is off limits to bad times. What can we do?
As children of God, we need to reflect upon Paul’s words in Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime are written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” There are so many wonderful examples in scripture of those who faced trials and overcame. We can remember Job who lost so much and still maintained his Faith in God. In Hebrews 11, we can see this great Hall of Faith where “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1). Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David, and so many others faced trials. They overcame the hard times and the temptations that came along with it.
Remember also Jesus. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). Jesus suffered more in His short 30+ years, than most of us will experience in our 70+. When we think of Jesus being tempted, we think of His temptation by Satan in the wilderness. We also need to remember that He went through life every day, just as we do. He had all the opportunities to mess up, just as we do. Yet, He did not. Not only that, but keep in mind the horrible physical things he suffered for us. All this without giving in or giving up.
We have great resources when trials come. In fact, we have the same resources that Jesus and the rest of those mentioned had. We have God who loves and cares for us. He has given us His word that we may turn to it daily, especially when times are hard. We have the avenue of prayer. We can talk to God about anything, especially those things that are troubling to us. Prayer is a blessing that helps relieve depression and anxiety. We have someone to talk to who is always there and always listening. We also have brethren. We ought to be able to share our struggles with our fellow Christians. Who else can know, empathize, and sympathize with us more than those who have the same or similar struggles.
The Christian will have tough times, however, God has given us what we need to triumph. I hope that you trust in God and put your cares upon Him. He has big shoulders and wants to help bear your burdens. Study the Bible, pray to God and fellowship with His people. That’s how we deal with difficulties.