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Trial Is God's Blessing – Reflection on James 1:2-3

My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.

James 1:2-3

From this verse, we can know that God tests our faith through trials, so we should accept trials with joy. However, once trials come upon us, we oftentimes become negative, lose faith and even blame God. For example, some time ago I was ill and lived in pain. And I didn’t get better after praying to God, so I lost faith in Him, didn’t want to read God’s word nor pray to Him, and even harbored suspicions about Him, and lived in negativity. Later, from God’s words I understood His will behind the trials He gave me. God says, “God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to grasp your real state, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer and are unable to sing hymns, and without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself. God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard, He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the ‘mysteries’ in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, through dealing with man, through man’s refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical.

From God’s words, we can see God tests us in order to perfect our faith and make us know our own deficiencies, so as to purify our corrupt dispositions. Before becoming ill, I always thought that I could maintain my faith in God regardless of what happened to me. However, when I was ill, I found that my faith was so small. I even misunderstood God, blamed Him and wounded His heart. Only then did I realize that I didn’t believe in God to obey God and satisfy Him, but to obtain grace and blessings from God. In my belief in God, I was full of selfishness and deceit, and I was making a deal with God. I also saw that I didn’t have a true knowledge of God, and lacked knowledge of God’s sovereignty and omnipotence. Without getting sick or being exposed this way, I would still think that I was a person who truly believed in God, understood some truths, and had some stature. However, after this trial, I saw clearly my true stature and saw many of my deficiencies and shortcomings. Only by experiencing God’s work and being revealed did I know what I should pursue and which aspect of truth I should practice and enter. This is God’s salvation and perfection for me.

Prayer:

Oh God, I had a lot of misunderstandings of You and didn’t know Your love. When the trial of the illness came upon me, I couldn’t obey You. I always thought Your love was only grace and blessing. I never knew that trials are Your love and salvation. I cannot let You down again. I am willing to seek Your will and obey Your sovereignty and arrangements. May You guide me. Thank God. Amen.

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