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Text: James 1.2-8

You don’t live very long before realizing bad things happen: trials, pain, suffering, hardships, and disappointments all happen even without us looking for them. When they come, we tend to be surprised and ask, “Why me?”

When we encounter suffering, we tend to think it’s “just unfair.” But the Bible doesn’t promise “smooth sailing” in this world; along with the good times there will also be pain and suffering. Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world” (John 16.33). Pastor Manion says, “just because you pass through a trial doesn’t mean you have to become a trial.”

Even though we may think we’ve received an unfair amount of trouble, Jesus reminds us he’s overcome our suffering and will meet us through his Holy Spirit where we need his help.

The Apostle James tells us to consider it joy when we encounter different trials, because this testing of our faith builds endurance and character (James 1.2-8). We can move through pain, instead of wallowing in it, if we’re convinced God is using it to make us like his son (see Philippians 1.6).


As you welcome God into your day, ask him to show you an area of your life where you need to choose joy. Embracing your trials is not natural, but supernatural, as the Holy Spirit will meet you there, help you grow spiritually, and help you find joy in the middle of your difficult situation.