“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 NASB95
I drove home in tears from the nursing home where my mom resides. I was asking God to get me out of this painful season of life and questioning if the end result would really be worth the pain.
As I watch my 97-year-old mom decline, it wears me out emotionally and physically. She can’t hear, see, or talk, but she is aware and knows who I am. Her moods grow more childlike, and her outbursts of agitation are sometimes uncontrollable. Mom was always a strong, independent woman, and I miss that mom. I can’t bear to watch it anymore. I find myself asking, “God, are these trials really worth it?” My heart says no, but God’s Word says yes.
Trials are never easy. They test our strength and our faith, but they produce endurance. Endurance is the quality that enables us to stay on our feet when we face a storm. James had the perfect view of trials and hardships as he focused on the end result, not the present circumstances. Consider it all joy… His encouragements were drawn from his own experiences,and he knew that the end result was worth the pain and discomfort.
God’s purpose in trials is to make us better, not to hurt us. Even though I am hurting, I know that God’s purpose in this is to make me stronger and better. He takes us through trials because He loves us.
Perhaps you are in the middle of a trial today, and you’re questioning if it’s really worth it. As I asked that very question today in the midst of my tears, the words of James reminded me, yes, it is worth it. The end result will be worth the present pain. But I know I can’t get through it without God’s grace. And one day, as a result, we will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. I long for that day.
When you question if the hardships are worth it, trust that your loving Father has a plan…a plan to strengthen you, not to hurt you.
Photo courtesy of freegigitalphotos.net and Ambro.
Crickett Keeth is the Women’s Ministry Director at First Evangelical Church in Memphis, Tennessee, where she writes and teaches the women’s Bible studies. She is the author of several published Bible studies which can be found at www.amazon.com/author/crickettkeeth. Crickett was on staff with Cru for ten years and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. In addition to speaking regularly at her own church, she speaks and teaches seminars. In her free time she likes to read, play games with friends, travel, and love on her two cats. She offers free resources for discipleship and encourages others in their own walk with God through her website at www.crickettkeeth.com.