James 1:12-18 – Finding Encouragement in God To Endure Trials

If you are not on God’s redemptive agenda page, you will end up doubting his goodness. One of the most important questions you could ask is: “What is God doing in the here and now?” The follow-up question is also important: “How should I respond to it?” It is nearly impossible to think about life properly and to live appropriately if you are fundamentally confused about what God is doing. If someone were to ask you the first of those two questions, how would you respond? Are you tracking with God’s agenda? Are you after what God’s after? Are you living in a way that is consistent with what God is doing? Do you struggle with questions of God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, and goodness? Do you ever envy the life of another? Do you sometimes feel alone? Do you fall into thinking that no one understands what you’re going through? Are you ever plagued by doubts as to whether Christianity is true after all? If you aren’t struggling with these things, are you near someone who is?

Here’s the bottom line. Right here, right now, God isn’t so much working to deliver you your personal definition of happiness. He’s not committed to give you a predictable schedule, happy relationships, or comfortable surroundings. He hasn’t promised you a successful career, a nice place to live, and a community of people who appreciate you. What he has promised you is himself, and what he brings to you is the zeal of his transforming grace. No, he’s not first working on your happiness, he’s committed to your holiness. That doesn’t mean he is offering you less than you’ve hoped for, but much, much more. In grace, he is intent on delivering you from your greatest, deepest, and most long-term problem: sin. He offers you gifts of grace that transcend the moment, that literally are of eternal value. He has not unleashed his power in your life only to deliver to you things that quickly pass away and that have no capacity at all to satisfy your heart.

This means that often when you are tempted to think that God is loving you less because your life is hard, he is actually loving you more. The hardships that you are facing are the tool of his exposing, forgiving, liberating, and transforming grace. These hard moments aren’t in your life because God is distant and uncaring, but rather because he loves you and so fully. These moments become moments of faith and not doubt when by grace you begin to value what God says is truly valuable. Do you value what God values?

Paul Tripp

Read James 1:12-18 and consider what good God might be doing through your present trials. In the midst of your trials, do you recognize God’s presence and tender care? How can you grow in your trust of God through trials?

Behold Our God by Sovereign Grace

Posted on: April 2, 2020 - 10:00PM

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