Be a Student, not a Victim - Encouragement Café - June 5

Be a Student, not a Victim
 By Dawn Neely

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NASB)

Do you feel like you are living the victorious Christian life? You may be thinking, "I am not qualified to live this victorious Christian life. In fact, I am so far from a victorious life, Christian or otherwise, it is not even funny!" Here is a list of the people who ARE qualified:

  • You don't have enough money in the bank to pay all the bills.
  • You have shed a lot of tears this week over circumstances out of your control.
  • You either blew up at someone this week or you just blew it!
  • You feel like a complete failure!

The victorious Christian life is not about having money or looking good or having complete control over our emotions. If not, then what is the definition of a triumphant Christian life?

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NASB)

Does James teach that the way to a victorious life is through trails? The truth of the matter is God does allow us to go through trials. God does not issue a magic wand that makes all our troubles disappear. There were many people who began following Jesus who, when the teaching got hard and the outlook was persecution, they left Him. So yes, God allows trials to come our way. I have heard a saying, "When hard times come, be a student, not a victim." A victim says, why did this happen to me? A student says, what can I learn from this?

James knew Christ's followers would face trials of all kinds. And so do we. We are to consider our trials pure joy. We are not to resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends. Why? Because we are to have a supernatural relation to respond from God's point of view. To count it all joy is a choice you make. It is a conscious decision. Don't trust your feelings. Judge your circumstances from the Word of God. Joy in biblical terms means a deep satisfaction in the knowledge that when my circumstances seem to be out of control, God remains in control.  Count it all joy because the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Unless your faith is put to the test, you will never really know what you truly believe about God, and you will fail to see the faithfulness of God. You will miss His nature.

When we suffer various trials in our lives, we build up endurance and are able to do more for the Lord. This is a battle tested faith. It doesn't cut and run when the enemy attacks. Perseverance says I am going to hold on because I believe the Lord has something good for me. And that attitude grows spiritual maturity. That gritty stubbornness produces genuine spiritual maturity. When trials have finished their work in us we will not lack anything. If we need peace, love, or hope we will have it. We will be complete! Not for lack of trials but because of them.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to develop perseverance. Help us to see that we are given trials in order to grow in our faith. You desire for us to know of Your great love for us and how You want us to trust You. How faithful and good You are to us, oh Lord. May we be students of the Word and grow in our faith through the trials You allow to come our way. In Jesus’ name, Amen

© 2020 by Dawn Neely.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published June 05, 2020.