“My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.” (James 1: 2-3, Contemporary English Version)
This may seem like a difficult thing to do. How can we really be glad when we are struggling with problems? It feels difficult to have any sense of gratitude or faith in times like this.
But this message isn’t telling us to put on a false happy face or to be a martyr. It is reminding us that when we are tested, when things come to us that humble us, we gain so much. Not only are we strengthened by our endurance, we also grow in understanding and gain a greater perspective going forward. We learn to rely less on ourselves, and more on the divine might that is truly powerful, right, healing.
And our doubts and questioning in these trying times should not be viewed as a loss of faith. They are a refining of it. We can take these challenges as opportunities to seek answers, to go deeper, listen for truth, and gain the enlightenment that not only helps us heal but helps us to help others as well. For once we have been there, we can bring genuine compassion, understanding, and wisdom to others that is truly assuring and healing.
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