James: Day 1

How Can We Rejoice in Suffering?

by

Today's Text: James 1:1-18, Jeremiah 31:7-14, Matthew 4:1-11, 1 Peter 1:6-7

Scripture Reading: James 1:1-18, Jeremiah 31:7-14, Matthew 4:1-11, 1 Peter 1:6-7

Have you ever noticed how in times of pain or trial, we comfort our friends, loved ones, and even ourselves, with words like:

“You’re going to make it through this.”
“Tomorrow will be better.”
“What can I do to ease your pain?”

Our endgame is an end to suffering. We pray for the bad times to go away. We beg that they would never come at all. A whole industry of mylar balloons and teddy bears exists bearing the sentiment, “Get Well Soon!” We ask the Lord to remove our thorns, to help us endure our hardships, and to bring us through suffering as unscathed as possible.

But Jesus’ brother James, the author of this short letter, has an entirely different take on trials.

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials.”
– James 1:2

Don’t get over them. Don’t rush through them or past them. Rejoice in them.

James tells us not to be so hasty to escape the faith-testing valleys because those valleys contain the fertile soil needed to produce steadfastness. And steadfastness—being immovable, unable to be shaken, deeply rootedis perhaps the true “wellness” we should be seeking.

As Christians, we eagerly say we want to be like Christ. But many of us are really only asking for the good stuff. “Lord, make us loving and patient and joyful!” we sing in chorus and with enthusiasm.

Jesus was indeed all of those things, but He was also described by the prophet Isaiah as “a man of suffering who knew what sickness was” (Isaiah 53:3). Christ Himself learned obedience through His suffering (Hebrews 5:8). And so it is for us. It is from those dark yet fertile valleys that steadfastness begins to spring forth—first sprouting from faith, then budding into love, and flowering into patience and joy.

Today, or tomorrow, or whenever you find yourself in a place of trial—do not minimize it or rush through it. Instead, give thanks to the Lord. Pray for endurance and steadfastness from the One who has already endured and proven Himself steadfast.

As backwards as it may feel, this difficult trial or painful suffering is a time to thank the Lord. This is the time to rejoice.

We do not rejoice because bad things happen, or because this poor, fallen world is full of death, injustice, and sorrow. No. We rejoice because the sovereign Lord calls us His own. He loves us enough to descend with us into the dark yet mysteriously fertile valleys, to produce in us a steadfastness which cannot be shaken.

Thanks be to God.

“Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
- James 1:12

  SRT-James-instagram1

Leave a Reply to Sela Cancel reply

/

  • Oh how I cling to that promise in Jeremiah 31:14! I work in full time ministry and am coming out of a season of dryness. If I’m honest, I let my daily tasks and the to-do lists of the job become more important than setting aside that time to be with Him. So Lord I ask that You do refresh me, I know that You are the source of not only life, but life to the full. May my heart, soul and mind love You and be satisfied in Your goodness alone!

  • I was just telling a good friend that I couldn’t have gone through the really tough times that I did a few years ago without God. Honestly I can’t imagine Him not being there. I lost my best friend suddenly (she was 31) and found out my mom had cancer for the 2nd time all within like a month of each other in 2014. It is a time I will never forget but I know that was a time I leaned on God and family/friends more than ever. That could’ve been a time I rejected Him and asked “Why?” But that was a time I tried to remember that He was there for me and I became stronger in my faith because of it. It’s definitely not easy though for sure!! Life won’t always be easy especially for Christians. But isn’t it so wonderful that we have someone to turn to and pick us up and carry us through those times. So so thankful.

  • Thank you! We are studying this in youth group at church and it is super helpful for understanding James better !

  • I recently moved across the country for a new job, leaving behind my boyfriend. I have been drowning in insecurity and anxiety over our relationship. This devotion reminded me to root myself in this and ask God for the guidance to find my way through the distance and uncertainty. I’m not sure I’m prepared to rejoice, but I will be more faithful.

    • Marina Seneca

      Amen. This is exactly what I needed to read and to be reminded that being in the valley gives us the strength to grow and be closer to our almighty God who never leaves nor forsake us. He is the same yesterday , today and tomorrow.

  • This devotion fell into place exactly when I was at the point of feeling overcome by a trial I am facing. I spent this morning praying for my perspective to change and for me to count it as joy. Please pray that I keep this perspective and do not succumb to sin. While I’m looking forward to it being over, I’m now thankful I get to endure. Praise the lord oh my soul.

  • Gabrielle

    Praise the Lord that He is with us in our suffering, that He does not leave us to figure it out alone. I recently heard a speaker talk about how we are a lot of the time so easy to jump from Good Friday to Easter Sunday without sitting in Saturday. Mary and the disciples had no idea that Sunday was coming like we do today. They had to sit and mourn in Saturday. We rejoice in Saturday because we know that Sunday is coming and in that we miss so much. Lord help me to sit in Saturday, help me to sit in my trials, help me to sit in the unknown, help me to sit with You.

  • Looking back on my life, I realize that all the trials I have suffered have made me the woman I am today. Today, I love God, I trust God, and I seek God…and although I grew up as a Christian, I didn’t learn to trust Him and love Him until I went through trials and suffering. I am thankful for what I have endured through my life because I not only love God more and trust Him to get me through everything I will suffer, I can help others in their pain and show them how it will grow their faith as well.

  • Corinthians but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me

  • Although trials are hard no one wants to suffer but I find every time I have gone through trials it’s also been a time of nearness to Him. I felt so much closer to the Lord in the midst of trials. It reminds me of the verse my strength is stronger in your weakness, trials cause us to draw all our strength from Him

  • God is so crazy, I just returned from working at a church camp, and most of the lessons revolved around James 1. I get back and go to church and the message is about James 1. and then I open my devotional this afternoon, guess what? James 1. he works in miraculous ways and speaks to us.

  • Kimberley

    Did I ever need to hear these truths! It’s been a long year of suffering for me through a trial where my daughter stepped away from her family with our new granddaughter. She’s swapped truths for lies and this mama has been struggling. My faith seemed very strong the first 6-9 months, but admittedly has wavered the last few months. THIS IS HARD. My heart so longs for them. The tears flow daily, but remembering to be thankful, steadfast, persevering, especially when I don’t want to, are the keys to my faith-maintenance. Thank you for the truths. Praying with a heart of thankfulness right now, believing Him for an impossible result. May His glory ever prevail and linger in these trials!

  • This is a reminder to remain faithful through the trials, small or big. Trusting God through this season of my life. At times things seem uncertain, yet he constantly is reminding me I am not alone. Fear and anxiety wants to have a place in my life again, yet he reminds me he to focus on him. I’ve been delivered and am his. Thank you I needed to read this today. Praying for all you ladies! Exodus 14:14!

  • I like 1 Peter 4:19 continue to do good, even in suffering

  • AMEN!!! Thank You God! I needed this right now. I’m being tested and I’m ready to sprout. It’s up to no other but me.

  • I am new to this app and very new to my faith journey with God. For many years I have been so angry with him for the misfortunes and deaths of loved ones in my family. I believed everything bad that happened to me was because I deserved it and was just a “joke” in his eyes. But I’ve had a change of heart. I realized that the reason why I felt the way I did was because I was pushing away his love. Disregarding his messages and was believing in the evil in the world. I truthfully let the wrong doings dictate my faith without easing up on Gods faith in me. I was pushed past my limits mentally and physically but Gods hand helped rebuild the person I knew I always wanted to be. Although I am FAR from where I need to be, I am taking the steps to a more loving life and accepting The teachings of the lord. This reading of the book of James came at the best possible point in my late 20s. I have lost everyone, needing to move home with my parents with no money or job, yet I know at the end of the day I have the faith and endurance I need to make my life whole again

    Praise be to God

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome, Sara! We are so glad to have you reading with us and so grateful for your testimony.

      – Stormye

  • After a recent miscarriage of my sister this day about suffering through the fertile valley is. So. Hard. I want to ease pain and want it to never happen more than anything. God is sure challenging me to put aside my human desires and seek Him.

  • Shelbyrae

    Wow, don’t you just love how God brings you exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it? SO in awe of Him. Anyway, the last couple years have been really rough for me, I have fallen into a sin that seems to have overtaken my life but I have seen how this particular sin can wreck havoc on someone’s life and really have felt a release on that in my life that can only come from God. I would love prayer for my to keep on this track of turning away from this sin!

  • Where to begin… thank you ladies for your thoughts and struggles. It’s refreshing to hear and share what God has been doing in our lives.
    For me, my boyfriend broke up with me a couple days ago. The man who God graciously brought into my life, who pursued me, and who I genuinely thought and hoped that I would spend the rest of my life with. This past year of dating has been an amazing one, but a hard one because God called me to submit my dreams to His plan on so many an occasion. God was shaping me to serve and love this man in the way he needed… and now it’s all gone. God used him to shape me into a completely different person for, now, what seems like no good reason. And I truly don’t understand why or how this happened. And while I know God knows what’s best for me and has His perfect hand on my life, nothing makes sense right now.
    This study today is such a sweet reminder in my hurt. That God truly does place these things in our lives to test our faith, to draw us closer to Him, and to give us the life He has perfectly planned for our good. Today is a new day, and it is a day to rejoice in spite of everything.

    • She Reads Truth

      Sweet Sela, I am so sorry to hear of your heart break. Asking the Lord to be close to you in this time of sorrow and confusion. Grateful for your vulnerability and that you stopped by.

      – Stormye

  • Phoenix87
    If you get this post.
    Check out “when godly people do ungodly things” by Beth Moore study and book. It saved my life after a feel into sexual sin.

    Just remember God saved you and placed a call on your life before you knew you would do this but not before he knew. He already knew and chose you still. Found you still worth it.
    Praying the truth speaks louder than all the lies.

    Jesus says “woman you’re sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”

    Love in Christ
    Jenna

  • The past couple of months have been such a revelation to me of the truth in God’s faithfulness. I was in a pit that was darker and deeper than any I have ever fallen into. But for God!!!! He revealed his true enduring love is deeper than any pit, and finds us wherever we are…because he never abandons his own. In my struggles to find myself again, I had to be willing to give up everything and put full faith in him day by day. He has stayed faithful and pulled me up from such a miserable and self destructive place because of his love. He is my rock on which I must make a choice to stand every second of every day. He set me in a place of peace, power, foregiveness, and clarity. God is so faithful when we hand him ALL our misery and let him fill our hearts with his strength to battle our enemy. Stay armored up ladies, but know the battle is the Lords, and he has already WON!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for this powerful encouragement this morning, Emily! So thankful for you this morning!

      – Stormye

  • Hi I’m new to this but am finding it incredibly helpful. This is so encouraging thank you! I’ve just purchased the She Reads Truth Bible so using the Ap and bible together is working wonderfully. I only regret not discovering She reads truth years ago. I had an awful year last year that lead to both mental and physical pain but am on the mend now. God is Good.

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome to She Reads Truth, Katie! So glad to have you reading with us!

      – Stormye

  • This was exactly what I needed to read today. I have been struggling with extreme anxiety for about 6 months now. It’s completely debilitating at times. There are days where I feel ok but then I am overwhelmed by fear again. It’s been some of the hardest times I’ve ever faced but I am thankful for the truth spoken through this study. I’m having to learn that it’s not about what I feel but what I know. And I KNOW that joy can be found in the darkest of times because God is faithful. God bless you all and I pray that we will all be thankful in the midst of our trials. ❤️

    • She Reads Truth

      Olivia, praying for you in this extremely difficult time. Asking for the Lord to bring you some kind of relief from this anxiety and fear and to bring you joy through His Word. So grateful that you shared this with us today.

      – Stormye

  • Elisabeth

    This message was so encouraging to me… but reading Phoenix87’s really hit home with me. & then all of the support from others and feeling God’s love and warmth through a computer screen due to your words.. its overwhelming. I too, have been failing test after test after test that God brings me to.. and now a relationship, one that I thought would end in marriage, is now over. I am coping with the pain and grief, because I know I am the one was at fault.. but he wasn’t a believer and held religion over me from time to time and for some reason, I think God is helping me focus on that. Anyways, I don’t have a lot of support from others, I don’t have any sisters in Christ to talk to, and this page and the wonderful women on it, keep me inspired and keep me yearning for Christ. <3

  • Your SRT sisters are praying for you Phoenix 87! God will give you strength. There is hope, grace, and forgiveness for anyone in any situation no matter what they’ve done. You can be an overcomer and move on with his help and grace! ❤️

  • phoenix87

    What do I do when I failed to stand the test? The trial I was in lead me to fall into sexual sin and it’s been so hard to get back to a place where I can freely and truly worship God. I was always the girl that made it clear what lines could not be crossed but I crossed them and now the shame I feel is taking me further from God and all I want is to run into His arms. I didn’t endure temptation and I’m broken…

    • April M.

      Hi phoenix87. I was recently in a situation where I realized that I had failed a test too and I found such comfort in remembering that God’s grace and mercy are endless–“his mercies are new each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). No matter how far we have fallen there is grace and healing when we confess and repent of our sins. Satan wants you to feel shame so that you won’t turn to God for healing, but Romans reminds us that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) This doesn’t mean we are free to sin and not worry about it because we know we are forgiven and acquitted. As born again followers of Christ we are to be growing in sanctification (or holiness or Christ-likeness) daily, BUT this verse means that God knows we will mess up, we will even blow it at times, and yet Christ has already paid for those sins–past, present, and future–and his arms ARE always open and He wants you to turn to him for grace and healing. THAT is truth, the shame is a lie from Satan. Isaiah 30:1-18 has brought me great comfort lately because I see how I am much like Israel, trying to go my own way and make my own plans, but that God longs to show me compassion and that in repentance and rest is my salvation! Praying for you!

    • pamfran

      Hi phoenix87. The Bible teaches us about so many who had failures of all kinds and God gave them the chance to start again. Psalm 103 is a beautiful picture of God’s forgiveness and opportunity to start over. My husband, who is a pastor, always says, ” You cannot go backward and change what happened, but you can start RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE”. I love that God gives us that opportunity. “He has removed our sins as far from us
      as the east is from the west” as Psalm 103: 12 tells us! Now that you have asked for forgiveness, ask for God to remind you that HE HAS forgiven and to help you move forward. Stay in His Word and surround yourself with believing friends that will hold you accountable. Then….move forward! Isn’t it sweet that Jesus has made this forgiveness and chance for new mercies every day available to us? Prayers for you!

    • Ana

      “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep”. Jesus found you my beautiful sister!
      “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”
      “39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

      40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

      “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

      41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

      43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

      “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

      Now all you have to do is to love Him that found when you were lost. Love Him, love Him, love Him and let Him do the rest.

      God bless you!

  • This encouraged my heart this morning. I was just remembering the dark days of post partum depression last night as my husband and I read our daughter’s birth story we wrote two years ago. As we are on an adoption journey I find myself scared at the possibility of getting back to that dark place. But this reminds me of God’s kindness in caring for me and being with me through it. Whatever may come, God holds us. Though I grieve the time I lost from depression and anxiety, God has used it for good to bring me closer to Him and to bring about a deeper intimacy with Him.

  • So True! I recently heard the song by Tauren Wells, Hills and Valleys. God is with us and wipes away the tears of the valleys and there when we are on the hills. It is not easy but He is There.

    • Katie

      Loving this study and the ap! I’m so busy all the time with being a mum, work and church activities that I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like with my bible. I never seem to get to five minutes to myself to get into in some depth study. Having this on my phone is perfect and even if it’s for 5 minutes, I can easily then pick up where I left off. Xxx

    • Karen

      Yes, I love that song too. Reminds us He give us the great things and walks with us through the tough times.

  • I’m loving this study. I’ve been in a trail , valley and darkness with my cancer relapsing. I’m praising God for this time , knowing that he’s here , stood where I’m standing this very day. And he’s preparing my good plans and place for me. I will tell all I can what he has done for me and keep singing his holy name!!!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you in this, Lu. Asking the Lord to heal and bring comfort and peace in the midst of this overwhelming trial. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Mindy

      You’re awesome!

  • This particular plan really hits me because I have gone weak in my faith through the various trials of the last year. I wish I had read and seen this plan a year ago, I think it may have literally changed my entire perspective as it is doing now. I pray that I may now see the value in struggle in the moment and embrace the joy the Lord brings even in the dark days.

  • This is a very hard time of year for me. I deal with the loss of two babies, both by miscarriage (one a few years ago with my husband and the other from my youth before I was saved) and the passing of my granny to whom I was very close. She was not saved and though I know what a wonderful human she was, I also know she’s in hell now and that is so hard for me to process. James is my favorite book of the Bible and I’m looking forward to finding joy in these circumstances.

    • Beth

      Dear Steph–coming alongside I your pain and loss. I pray that you feel God’s presence and the community of those who mourn with you. About your grandma, if it releases the pressure valve in a healthy way for you, you may decide that you don’t have to be so definitive about what was going on in her heart and mind and in the heart and mind of God. None of us are omniscient. Just a perspective to consider.

  • Dear Carol, I am praying for you because I know exactly what you are going through! Had that problem after the doctor prescribed antidepressants, they made me worse, went through 2 weeks of I don’t know what? Anxiety and depression so deep my body would shake involuntary and I would cry out to God and He will say I’m right here with you! But I never thought today I would be saying this to someone but remember God is right there with you always, He will never leave nor forsake you. Even today I still ask Him , is it me feeling like this? I know our God is Mighty, you will feel better very soon, even if the circumstances around you don’t change, He is not looking at that but at you! Just be naked before Him! I’m praying for you today and always! And to everyone going through that. Most of the time you never find answers but more revelation and more of Him and I in the process have learned how to be totally dependent on Him! God loves you dearly!

  • I pray I can endure this trial right now. I’m in a major depression and anxiety attacks. Some days I feel I’m hanging on by a tread. I go see Dr again today. Pray I find some answers. It’s hard to count this all joy right now, but I still have faith. When I spiral down it’s no fun. I’m trying to fight this anxiety and visualize myself happy and healthy again. Pray for me. Carol

    • Steph

      Praying for you Carol. Praying you will be able to count it as joy through your faith in Jesus. Thankful that you are still persevering in your faith. Praying that Jesus will wrap His arms extra tightly around you today and cover you in His love.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Carol. Asking the Lord to help ease this anxiety and to comfort you with His Word. So thankful for your vulnerability and for letting us know how to pray for you. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • SareBear

      I hear you, sister. And I see you. I have walked, AM walking through anxiety and depression as well. It’s so isolating and hard to see hope…But it’s there. Cling to that thread! I encourage you to find a good counselor as well as seeing your doctor. I’m proud of you for taking steps to heal, even when motivation to do anything can be a struggle. You’re not alone.

  • My whole life feels like it is in a time of trial right now, how perfect that as I’m trying to reconnect with the Lord I start a devotional to help me rejoice Him in this season. Here goes!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Knicole! Asking the Lord to bring you through this difficult time and to show you His deep affection and care for you. So grateful that you shared.

      – Stormye

  • Mackenzie

    This devotional is really what I needed. For months even up to this day my heart has been heavy with the way my relationship with other people and God has been going. I was choosing to put building a relationship with men before my relationship with God. I just wanted the pain of rejection to go away as quickly as possible but in return kept putting myself in the same situations. But now I know that God will walk me through and being me out of every valley I feel that I am in. My walk with God has just begun and is taking time. But I know that if he is by my side during some of my toughest time there is no need to rush through it because I will make it out, as a stronger person because of him.

  • Claudia B.

    I love the point Emilee brings up with feeling guilt as we read this scripture. Our first reaction to adversity is avoidance of endurance towards a light. I do find it extremely difficult to rejoice in pain as James says we should because it is not our first and natural reaction. Even our bodies are programmed to avoid pain right away when we flinch because we’ve touched something unexpectedly warm, sharp, or foreign, and our heart aches when we emotionally shrug away from pain. I do not think God condemns those who initially turn away or think thoughts of ending suffering. I think He understands that we are uncomfortable. When He says rejoice, I feel that He tells us to acknowledge our pain and suffering but turn from the darkness that comes from dwelling in that and turn towards joy as we know He is with us. Especially as we doubt, I think it is important to turn and question God and work through our trail with him rather than suffering as we look towards painless times. When we suffer and do not bring our suffering to God, I think we try to rely on our own strength, but God is so good and so strong not only does He give us strength but he gives us joy through our trials! I think it is important to remember the joy comes from Him, not simply by our own strength. So it is okay to acknowledge our doubts, fears, pains, and hopes for painless lives, but eventually I think it is important to remember to turn it over to God.

    • Steph

      You are so right. Turning away from the darkness and towards God is ultimately what our whole lives should be about. It’s so hard to do sometimes! I think that’s because Satan knows what a weak area this is for so, so many people and we are more easily led astray (even if for a short time) in this area than we might be in others. And yes, how wonderful that He gives us the strength we need! What an amazing God we serve.

  • I don’t think it was a coincidence that I finally picked up my bible and the devotional was about suffering…. sadly I think I’ve been like the “doubting person” that’s mentioned in James 1:6…. when suffering is a long journey it’s hard not to lose hope… when it feels like God isn’t so generous in giving wisdom… when he feels silent… then an overwhelming feeling of guilt washes over me thinking “you’re not producing steadfastness… you’re unstable in all your ways…”

    • Ana

      Here in Portugal we have a catholic hymn that says, among other things, “When I’m caught by the storm, and Jesus is sleeping in my boat, I shall not fear, because Peace is with me. When I’m lost in the desert, and I thirst and faint, I shall not fear, because the Living Water is with me.” It is a very simple hymn, I know, but so true also. I’ve found that inviting Jesus to my boat and know that He is always with me, even when it seems that He is asleep, gives me great peace. I know that when my little boat faces a to great storm He will calm the waters and the wind of my heart. What I like in this hymn is that it doesn’t say the storm will end or the desert shall vanish, but that in all the suffering and doubts and dryness of our soul, He is always with us. Don’t blame yourself for not producing steadfastness. When I go through feelings like the ones you describe I bless the Lord because I see that indeed He must have a infinite love for us. Indeed only a love like His can bear a weak love like ours. And so when I fail I praise His love. It’s very hard to go through a period of dryness of the soul. I ask God to bless you immensely! That you may be able to feel Jesus sleeping in your little boat!

      • EarlyBird

        This is beautiful, Ana. Thank you for sharing! What is the title of this lovely hymn? I’d like to hear it!

        • Ana

          Thank you! The hymn is written in Portuguese and I don’t have any link to share with you, but l translated it so that you may enjoy the lyrics:

          If I’m surrounded by darkness
          And I walk through bitterness
          I shall not fear because the Light is with me.

          If I’m caught by the storm
          And Jesus is sleeping in my boat
          I shall not fear because Peace is with me.

          If I’m lost in the desert
          And I thirst and faint
          I shall not fear because the Living Water is with me.

          If unbelievers insult me
          And the ungodly hate me to death
          I shall not fear because the Life is with me.

          If my friends abandoned me,
          If I’m poor and orphan,
          I shall not fear because the Father is with me.

          If I’m surrounded by darkness
          And I walk through bitterness
          I shall not fear because the Light is with me.

          The title in Portuguese is “Se me envolve a noite escura”. It was written by Father Manuel Luís and it is also a night prayer.

          God bless you!

        • Judy

          This is beautiful…I was church pianist for years and always found strength through words of hymns. Thank you both for sharing.

        • Tricia C

          Thank you for sharing.

  • Denisa Nitu

    Jeremiah 18 shows an amazing picture of the potter and the clay. Sometimes the Lord works through trials to shapes us, the clay, into a masterpiece which we will only become at the time of His coming or when we go Home. So through trials I try to keep this picture in my mind. God is just working on me and making me into the beautiful vessel He wants me to become.

  • Heidi Mnkandhla

    I am one to rush through the trials when I face them and constantly wish and pray for them to just end. I never see joy in trials until they are over. It seems impossible to be joyful in the midst of them but as long as we keep our eyes on Christ we will be able count our trials as joy for His glory!

  • Priscilla

    It is hard to trust God in our trials but we need to be faithful and know that He is ultimately in control and always has a greater purpose for us.

  • Currently going thru one of the hardest trials in our lives concerning our daughter and this is exactly the perspective we need to continue on in praise and thanksgiving. It is terribly hard but I am finding that giving thanks for our trials and searching for everything I have to be thankful for makes the trial more endurable and gives us more hope than sulking and being a victim. It’s not easy but with time it has been more necessary.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you in this, Lenna. Thank you so much for sharing.

      – Stormye

  • i need my perspective to be changed when it comes to trials and suffering. Lord, help me to see the valleys as a positive time to grow and mature in my faith. Help me to rejoice when hard time comes because it is making me more like you!

  • Kassie Ramirez

    I was just baptized on Sunday, and my dad completely flipped out on me. I know that this is what Jesus called me to do, but why was I being attacked this way? My pastor then told me that the enemy lost major territory and he wanted to do anything to rob me of my joy, but I am the daughter of the Most High King. I will push through this and keep my eyes on Jesus. Praying the Lord fills me with His strength as I endure this rocky time.

    • Krista Smith

      Stand strong Kassie. Your dad, like so many others, are afraid of the name of Jesus. Why? Because it’s deeply convicting, calling attention to our need and to the dark places in our lives. Know that God has chosen and called you to Himself. He loves you and has wonderful plans for your life! If you’re not already, get connected with a church and small group who will be there to cheer you on and lift you up! And remember, your decision to follow Christ could be instrumental in leading others to Christ.

    • Sharon Prince

      Kassie, pray for your dad. He is afraid of and unsure of your faith in Jesus. Show him, through your lifestyle what Jesus is all about. God only knows how much of an influence you will be on his life.

    • Anna Marie Yoder

      Kassie, God bless you on your journey with the Lord. I will pray for you and also for your dad, that there will be people in his path that witness to him…that he too would become a Christian.

    • Amanda Montgomery

      Kassie, I agree with Krista. Connection with the Body is extremely important for your ability to stay strong. I have a “nay-sayer” in my own family…my husband. These trials we go through to produce endurance are bearable with prayerful support for YOU to keep walking with God and His Word.

  • This study and my life experiences are guiding me towards deepening my trust in God. I know he is good, but like JessMC said earlier, it would be so much easier to fast forward to the resolve when issues arise. I need to rejoice instead of rushing, to ask in faith without doubt, and to use the character of my faith to display God’s glory.

    • Colleen

      I relate to this so much. I’m suffering right now and I want so so badly to fast forward to the resolution. I believe and know that everything will be ok, but it so hard to just be in this difficult time. Rejoicing seems so far from me.

      • She Reads Truth

        Praying for you in this, Colleen. It can be so difficult to see the Lord and remember eternity in these times of trial, but I trust that the Lord has a plan and can work even this into something for your good. Keep pursuing Him! So grateful for you.

        – Stormye

  • A friend told me about this today and I must say it home in so many ways. It’s like it was written just for me. And funny enough I read another devotion about trying not to complain but rejoice instead so this is very fitting. I feel as though I am currently under attack and I think this is going to be the perfect study for me to remind me to stay strong and know that Christ is always with me.

    • Colleen

      I think I’m under attack right now too. Maybe we always are, but I feel it so strongly right now. Glad to know I’m not alone. I think this study will be perfect for this time.

  • I am starting a day late, I find it comforting to know that God’s word is always on time . Sunday was the first teaching of a series called “steadfast” at my church. I was reminded of God’s Love and faithfulness and how he is constant . As I reflect on the message and this study, its also comes as a bandage of comfort after the tragedy that took place in Manchester and at Bowie State University. My heart aches at the state of our world and all its evil & darkness, but James has reminded me to always stay the course and endure this race in life in the midst of it all.

  • Amanda Brown

    I am new to the Christian community. My friend introduced me to She Reads Truth. I have begun reading the Bible but this is my first reading plan. I am already loving James and it seems to have come at a good time in my life. My work life as a nurse has had it’s challenges lately. With today’s readings I am focused on what He wants me to learn from every situation. Applying this to my life right now I suddenly feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’m in this with God by my side, in my heart. I am learning to listen to His messages to me, whether its something I want to hear or not. Learning to rejoice during trials as it will lead to endurance and steadfastness.

  • Katie Wiegert

    I have been searching for a good app to give me good reminders to read everyday, dig deeper into scripture and my faith, and be consistent in my readings and faith. This looks awesome! Such a cool idea. Grateful for the Lord and the strength He gives us to be able to endure the trials that may seem too difficult to handle.

  • Sham Borges

    I really enjoyed this explanation, I find it hard to rejoice when I’m going through something that is difficult but I understand that if I stay steadfast & keep my eyes on God I will get through & receive my crown of life.

  • My husband and I are in the midst of walking difficult journey’s with multiple friends. This morning I literally cried out to God and said, “can we just fast forward to these situations being fixed? I’m tired of the heavy burdens my friends are carrying and I just want it all to be redeemed.” An hour later I started the James study and read this passage….

    2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

    The Lord heard my cry and answered through the first chapter of James! Thank you Lord! I can say that it’s not the answer I want BUT this passage gives me strength for today. It also reminds me that He is moving, active and near in the midst of a difficult season.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Jess! So encourage by the Lord speaking to you through His Word!

      – Stormye

  • Logan Christine

    I’m very excited to go through James with this community. I really loved this devotional and opened my eyes and mind to times when I wanted to pretend I wasn’t in a trial or purposefully find my way around one. I will heed what God says in His word to “consider it all joy,” no matter how hard or painful the trial might be.
    Not discussed in this devotional, but stood out to me was verses 6-8. “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a doubled-minded man, unsuitable in all his ways.”
    This convicted me because I know that when something seems big and scary, I will pray to God about it, but in my heart I will doubt that my prayers will be answered. This is my foolish and sinful heart taking over and assuming God is like us, when in reality He is all powerful and mighty and can do all things with just a word. I personally need to focus on not bringing God down to my level, because when I do this I disrespect all His attributes and change in my mind who He is, and that is not a road I want to go down.

  • I used to depsise this verse. When I was a teen I was sexually assaulted and my father quoted this verse to me through the whole trial and all. I was angry at God but in hindsight I see that He was strenghthening me and protecting me through it. Sometimes it is hard to see that when you are in the moment. God is with us through these trials he allows us to walk through. We are not alone. I now rejoice in my strength I gained from that trial and I am able to rejoice in present trials because of my past.

    • She Reads Truth

      What a powerful testimony, Kas. Thank you so much for sharing this.

      – Stormye

  • I didn’t realize this started yesterday when I began my scripture reading and study in James with my SRT Bible. What a blessing and affirmation that this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be reading and studying at this time ❤️❤️

  • Candice Stevens

    I love the wisdom the book of James contains. I’m trying to have a deeper relationship with God. I have failed him so much in the past.

    • Megan

      That is the beautiful part about God, He doesn’t need us to measure up to anything. He simply wants us for who we are right here and now! God’s grace is sufficient for you when you are following Him and when you are wandering. Keep fighting the good fight sister!

    • Erika

      His pursuit is relentless- grace upon grace❤️

  • Steadfastness seems to be the word for the season I am currently in. I want to be done with the uncomfortable and go back to familiar…but God is calling me to go beyond my feelings and stay the course.

  • Rosie from TX

    #Godisgood. Seems like cancer is all around us. My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer and the word of the Lord has been my rock and anchor. Love how today’s reading shines the truth on suffering and the purpose of suffering. It reminds to remain steadfast and trust in the Lords provision. Thanks for being the light in time of need. I am so happy I found your website tonight.

    • She Reads Truth

      Rosie, praying for your brother and your family in this time. Asking the Lord to heal and comfort. Grateful for you and that you’ve found us – welcome, friend.

      – Stormye

  • Amen and amen! I was very hasty to get out of my season of trial and suffering, but seeing it now, I realize that I had to go through it in order to mould my character, to empty me of myself, to have nothing else but Him and to step in to this new season. It’s been three years, and I rejoice in those years because without them, I would not be where and who I am today. Praise Jesus for the tough times.

    • Hillary

      Amen!! Same timeline for me, and I look back realizing how I’ve grown, yet I still can’t seem to remember his promises in trouble!! Our feelings can be so fickle but he is faithful!!

  • Kellye Sanders

    I recently lost my mom to cancer and I’ve recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I am in chronic pain from that. But every morning and night I thank God for this valley I am in. I know he is building my character to be more like Jesus. His plan is greater than mine.

    • Emily B.

      Wow. What an inspiring testimony. Thank you for sharing–it reminds me not to make my trials and valleys bigger than they are.

    • Sarah Joy

      Thank you for sharing. My little aches and pains pale in comparison to all that. May God continue to grant you His grace. I hope to have perspective like that in the midst of my struggles.

    • She Reads Truth

      Oh, sweet Kellye. I am so sorry to hear of your trials. Grateful that you are here and turning to the Lord in this season of heartache and suffering. Grateful for you and glad to have you in this community.

      – Stormye

    • Emily Brittain

      Kellye..I was diagnosed with RA soon after my mom died too. It was a scary and difficult time. But I want to encourage you that the most pain I had was at the time of diagnosis, before the medicines kicked in.
      4 to 6 months..I am glad you know where to turn on this trisl! Godspeed!

  • I recently went through an emotional divorce and today’s reading couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! I didn’t know it then but God was using this time of trial to change and grow me into a better women of God and I couldn’t be more thankful! God is good and knows more than I do. I pray for strength and wisdom during these times and trust that is doing what is best. Thank you Lord! It’s not always easy to rejoice during these times, but with patience and prayer, I can be happy knowing that the hard times make the times after even better!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Shannon. So grateful for you and your words of encouragement today.

      – Stormye

  • Dawn Morrison

    I’m going to pray on the subject because it runs deep with me❤️

  • Carmen Santiago-Diaz

    I’m new to this site. I’m here to learn how to study and get revelation of weather reading the Bible.

  • When you realize that you were made on purpose… that he saw you before you were, that he covered you in your mother’s womb, that all your days were written out… you must then conclude that whatever comes your way is part of his plan, it’s ment for you… I think it ends up being… do you trust him? (Can you say, “Thank you!” in faith for the good that you are sure that he will do. Can you rest in his plans. How about dance and sing?)
    I cannot see the picture that is being made because I am a piece of the puzzle. But, since I know the character of our great God through his son Jesus Christ, and have the Bible for guidance and lovely ways (like she reads truth) to study it… I know that it will be nothing less than pure awesomeness!

    • Shannon

      Yes beautiful! We can never see all that God sees. We trust God and he shows us his plan, eventually. Until then, we trust!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for this, Elle! So encouraged by your words today. You’re right – we often can’t see the bigger picture but we are so blessed to have a Father that is in control!

      – Stormye

  • The book of James has been so crucial in my day to day life these past few months. How rewarding it will be to know that God has been fulfilling my growth this entire time of suffering.

  • Cassandra Stone

    Wow, just wow! I’ve read through James many many times and today once again, the Lord spoke to me in a beautiful way!! LET IT GROW! James 1:4. Steadfastness is great true wellness we should be seeking! Amen. Don’t get over the trials in a rush, rejoice in them! Oh Father, give me eyes to see and ears to hear!

  • Kelly Williams

    Times of despair have been few so far in my life, yet reflecting back on those, at the time it didn’t occur to me that I wasn’t alone with my thoughts and feelings. Of course, I had friends, family, etc. providing support, but much of my despair was projected on God. Reading James, even just on day one, provides an adjusted thought about God being with me during these times and reflecting on thankfulness for not being alone. Having a God that loves me so much to endure what I do with me, is heartwarming. While my current struggle is not extreme, it’s one that has been constant for 3 years and has altered my life in many ways. Reading this today, allows me to have a different approach during prayer and thank God for enduring it with me.

  • I wish I could live in the book of James. I wanted to revisit the study of James because I did one last year by Beth Moore and completely fell in love with it. It’s life changing. I encountered it in one of the most trying times of my life and now I’m excited to look at it from not being so deep within the valley. Praying that another portion of James hits my heart that I missed last year!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Molly! Glad to have you studying James with us!

      – Stormye

  • Over the last 10 years, we have had many trials and continue to live in a period of extended trial… those of you caring for aging and ill parents with difficult family dynamics know this well. The drain on time and emotions can be consuming. A sister in Christ reminded me today of how important it is for me to stay connected to other Christian women and to take care of myself well when it is so easy to isolate and neglect myself. I struggle with wanting to model Christian love to unbelieving family members and wanting to pull my hair out at their lack of understanding and help. So my trial has inherent trials. Anybody???

    • Andrea G.

      Praying for you! Iwas my grandma’s caretaker for the last three weeks of her life last fall due to broken family relationships. I cannot imagine what it is like to be caretaker long term, but I can say that without my bible study friends, my mom (her ex daughter in law) and stepdad and my own siblings, I wouldn’t have made it through her death and the aftermath. It’s sooo important to stay connected and do even little things to care for yourself!

    • Shelia

      My mother had a stroke almost 2 years ago which resulted in her being paralyzed on her entire left side and partially blind. We had to put her in an extended care facility, because of the care that she needed. I live 4 hours away, and my sister who lives near her are for the most part the only 2 who take care of her. I know what you are dealing with. God is in control of the situation. That fact is what I still struggle with daily. I am not in control. I cannot control what others do for her, I can only control what I do for her. I was finally led to hire someone to help us when it was obvious others weren’t going to pitch in. I will be praying for you.

    • Jenny

      Bridget, I am praying for strength and endurance for you. Being a caregiver is not an easy road; there are joys and there are tears. I was my mom’s fulltime caregiver for 9 years until she passed. I can tell you that my children didn’t understand that there was events I could not attend because of my mom being sick. I think they thought I just didn’t want to be there. My daughter decided to show her dislike to me by sending me down the aisle after the groom’s mother. I was in Texas and the rest of the family in PA, so there was no help. I am sorry that my mom was alive to see that my daughter decided not to want a relationship with me. My mom told me when she was dying that my daughter had said she wanted to hurt me for moving her to Texas. She definitely did that by sending me down the aisle after the groom’s mother. This was the inherent trial. I keep praying for restoration with my daughter.

      Bridget, don’t feel that you are alone; reach out for help. Even if it is a caregiver’s support group, which I wish I would have done. It is important for you to keep healthy, do not give into the enemy by isolating and neglecting yourself .

  • I am currently facing a season of super bad anxiety along with depression. I have a toddler girl and just keep wanting to be happy but I cannot find peace. But I must remain joyful because God is making me stronger! So please pray for me that I may experience joy throughout this season! Thanks!!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Meg! Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share today!

      – Stormye

    • Hannah

      Praying for you Meg.

      ❤️ ❤️

    • LeighAnn

      I too have a toddler (and preschooler and kindergartener) and have struggled with anxiety and depression since she was born. I know I WANT to be happy and enjoy this fleeting time with her and my other two girls, but I find myself struggling and exhausted trying to be that person. I’ve really submerged myself in several bible studies and podcasts these past 2 weeks and I’ve noticed a difference in my overall mood. I know the enemy will try to upset that soon but thankfully I have the Lord on my side to meet me in that darkness. I will keep you in my prayers!

  • Trials are painful and uncomfortable, wearying the mind, causing the heart to grieve, but in these very moments, God has come to me, he had not taken away the pain, but he has stretched me such that the sting is palpable. Those moments have been most precious times of reflection and God has brought comfort. I cannot forget His promises because He is able to renew and heal.

  • I recently lost my father. The biggest trial to go through for me was letting my dad go. God got me through losing my daddy, and he helped me through that trial in ways I can only describe as miracles. One day when my dad was getting really bad, something told me to write down and keep a list of all the miracles I saw in my dark times. This list is what got me through it. This list was a gift from God. A gift that helped me see he was with me through the darkness. He was there holding my hand, embracing me in his steadfast love. I encourage anyone who is going through a hard time to write a list of all the times you see God working big or small. Keep that list with you and look at it when you need encouragement. This devotional I truly believe is yet another gift he has given me to show me he works through our pain. Thank you for this devotional

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing this, Ashley. So sorry for your loss but grateful for our Heavenly Father who gives comfort in such hard times. So grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Shannon

      So beautiful!!! That is truly rejoicing in a tough time. This is an insprirational idea! Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely remember this idea for future reference. Praying for you and your family!

  • I went through a terrible breakup almost a year ago and I’m just now starting to get completely over it. I’ve fought for so long with feelings of depression, frustration, anger, hurt, and resentment. These were things that were so out of character for me when it came to breakups. I was so used to just moving on but this time was so different and I was not prepared. I had never felt so broken. I went through months of just going through the motions of life being numb to the things around me. I didn’t realize until then that I had lost myself. I had no idea who I was. I would turn to God for comfort and then a second later listen to the lies of Satan telling me God didn’t care or this wouldn’t have happened. I came across an old prayer journal and saw a prayer that was written right before my breakup where I asked the Lord for a closer relationship with Him. I understood at that moment that the breakup was Gods answer to my prayer. He had to remove the thing that had my focus in order to direct my attention to him. I thank God for this lesson. I was so lost then. I now have goals for myself and being single allows me to be “selfish” and focus on me and growing my relationship with the Lord so that He is always my main focus whether I am in a relationship or not.

    • Shannon

      Yes!! I agree. I with through something similar. The pain truly is a blessing. You can’t truly have a relationship with God while being “distracted” so he answered your prayer! I too am using my time being single to focus on God and help others in my community and my church and couldn’t be happier. It truly is a blessing.

  • Keri McCue

    I love James! I love today’s reflection, especially this: “James tells us not to be so hasty to escape the faith-testing valleys because those valleys contain the fertile soil needed to produce steadfastness. And steadfastness—being immovable, unable to be shaken, deeply rooted—is perhaps the true “wellness” we should be seeking.” This is what I needed to hear today and it’s comforting to my heart!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Ceci Frost

    So much good readings and truth! I’m listening to a podcast about trails and suffering in the book of James from Austin Stone Church!
    It all reminds me to ask God “is there something to learn here?” Instead of “Please help me get through this.”
    Hhwbook.com

  • Thank you, SRT, for this study! James is one of my favorites and today really hit home. I’m so excited for the rest of this!

    • She Reads Truth

      So glad you are enjoying it, Meg! Glad to have you reading with us!

  • Yes. Needed these words today.

  • I love where it describes the character of our faith being more valuable than gold. I want to be refined by the fire. I’m going through several different difficult situations in my life currently, probably the most I’ve endured at one time. Knowing that I need to rejoice in these moments & trials helps me to remember how God has brought me through so many other trials before. I’ve put a strain on my relationships with my husband, children, & friends recently because I’ve allowed myself to be so consumed with my current trials. Maybe rejoicing in them will allow the growth not only in me, but in my relationships. ❤️

  • This is so good. And I love finding these devotions in my SRT Bible! Thanks so much for this wonderful resource.

  • This quote wrecked me:
    “If we deny suffering as a form of blessing, then we are denying the sufferings of Christ that blessed us and brought about our freedom.”

    No More Faking Fine, by Esther Fleece

  • Kierstyn Jacobs

    This study is coming at such an opportune time for me. The last few weeks I was traveling around Europe, and I felt very spiritually alone and spiritually dry. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression, but during this time, when I was on a tight “tourist” schedule, I did not make time for God in the mornings as I usually do. I was spending time with a crowd that did not value God’s wisdom or instruction. And coming back, I felt the crippling effects of time “away” from God. My anxiety was back with full force, I was questioning every word I spoke for hours after I spoke it. Social anxiety is just a cycle of doubt and shame. Convinced that no one wanted me around, listening to EVERY lie the devil threw at me, I felt like I was the shell of a woman I had been a few years ago. My emotions got so strong they began manifesting physically. But yesterday in a sermon I was reminded of God’s grace and enduring love. He never gives up on me, he will never fail. He would never choose me and set me up for failure. Today in this study I am reminded that the LORD is the SUPREME comforter. He knows the trials I am enduring and he wants to console me. These trials are something to rejoice in because they purify us– like precious metals thrown into the fire. I am so joyful this morning, my physical symptoms are gone, and I have FAITH that God is going to do a complete healing in my life, on my mind, on my body. He is so good all the time!!

  • My greatest trial is the bitterness of my son and his wife. Although we have asked forgiveness, they continue to keep us at arms length. I have “endured” this for 9 years and I’m asking God for complete restoration, but I’m having to wait and I want it now, today! I see God’s perspective in James. I will continue to ask, but in the meantime I will ask for wisdom, because I want to endure this with joy so I will be mature and receive that crown of life.

  • Since Friday I have been wrestling with feelings of betrayal. It happened with Christians. It happened at work. It’s been happening at church. Passed over, talked about, not having my back. My mind, my thoughts, keep trying to hold on to truth, but my heart is overwhelmed. If only they had not been Christ followers! I know how to deal with that betrayal. I grew up in that atmosphere. I am not that vulnerable there. It is not wise to be vulnerable there. But with Christ followers I am learning to be vulnerable…and then I am betrayed. I would have just liked to be treated as a grown up. As someone who could take the stings of life and make adjustments. But now I feel thrown away. And then last night…the sermon was on James 1. I didn’t want to listen. My head knew this was true, but my heart felt the reality of relationships that aren’t true. And then this morning when I shared with my husband, he just poured out love and kindness to me with his words and actions and then he reminded me of who I am in God’s eyes…but my heart is so sad. And then this…today…endurance…like the hard part of the race, when you want to quit and everything hurts, and you know that you can almost see the finish line, but your heart and body say no, just stop and give up…but you press on…endurance. Maybe, just maybe, my heart will survive the betrayal this time and I will endure. But this one thing that I know for sure: God is with me and that He loves me.

    • Emily B.

      I’m sorry that you’re going through that situation. But you’ve said the most important thing–God loves you! He sees your sad and broken heart, and He will meet you there. Never lost sight of who you are in Him!

    • She Reads Truth

      Beth, my heart hurts for you and the betrayal you are feeling. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. May we all continue to have faith that produces endurance.

      – Stormye

  • Ladies,
    This devotional and readings really hit home today. I know I am going to lose my job this week – an on going battle of viewpoints on performance when the job duties and management have changed. I’ve tried to be as positive as I can but at times it is hard. Trials that test us are difficult, but I need to turn my focus on God. He will bring me through this, be by my side as I finish graduate school and lead me to a career that I enjoy. I know that this trial is the start of a new chapter.

  • Jerri Howard

    I can say with out any doubt this is truth! The last 3 years were grueling and an extreme test of my faith. It has strengthened my faith and equipped me to carry on. There are more years left of this test. Don’t get me wrong there were times I questioned and fought with the Father. I now can say I don’t dread the journey. It does not make me wish for it but I can find the joy of the Father in it.

  • Wow. Day one and my mouth is hanging open in awe at the Lord’s timing of this study and am excited abt what lies ahead. I’m going to savor the journey! Thank you SRT!

  • Patient endurance in suffering is a hot topic in my spirit right now. At times I have believed that God has forgotten me, or is withholding good things from me. That’s why it’s so cool to see that “Count it all joy” shortly followed by “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.” Suffering is the gift!!! For real. The problem of pain is that God’s idea of a “perfect gift” my idea of one don’t always line up. It’s almost as if His thoughts and ways are so much higher than mine. Like He’s asking me to trust Him and not my own understanding. ;-)
    There is glory at work! He longs to give me more of Himself, wether that “feels” like a blessing or curse. That’s why we are blessed when we mourn because we are comforted by God himself!!! This depth of intimacy and attachment I think is only achieved through suffering. I need to DAILY adjust the lens I see my suffering through. I’m called to KNOW CHRIST, not just in the power of his resurrection, but also in the fellowship of his sufferings! Everything else is loss for this. Practicing PRAISE and LAMENT has allowed me to experience His presence in the midst of the darkest times. And really, it’s ALL about His presence anyway!

  • This is exactly what I needed to see today. I love how God knows exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it! My husband and I are walking through infertility and this is a dark time. But I can’t forget to REJOICE the sovereign Lord!

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you and your husband in this. So grateful you would share this with us, Anna.

      – Stormye

  • What a wonderful passage. Many years ago my retina deattched in my right eye. I had to have surgery. I was scared but I knew my faith in God was strong. I loss 70% of my center vision in my right eye. To this day I still don’t understand why this happened to me but I know God knows and when I get to heaven I am going to ask him. The point of my story is I choose to be strong and have faith that I was going to be ok.

  • PronetoWander

    Whenever my husband and I face a trial I try to remind him how it works out for us. I usually say how something seemingly bad always ends up working out super well for us . I usually say it a bit lighthearted and like it’s just our luck. But it’s not. It’s God and I thank him wholeheartedly because I know our good fortune even in “terrible” times is straight from him and not from us . We couldn’t work this bad things into good, only him! And most of the time it’s our fault we are there! But God doesn’t care, he helps us anyways.

  • Going through a trial right now with another family member. I kept reading the part of steadfastness and how the soil is fertile in that area. I need strong roots as I haven’t felt close to the Lord lately. Thanking the Lord through this trial is a challenge, as we want to be out of it as soon as possible without being scorched. The reading today is something I need to reflect on.

  • To praise the Lord in deep despair is a difficult task. I’m afraid it won’t be genuine, but maybe it’s cultivating more faith and trust in God regardless.

  • If you think about it, how do you reach success? Is it something you achieve immediately when you start something new (a new project, a new career, a new goal)? Unless you’re perfect, I think I can say we’ve all failed many times trying to succeed in something, right? How did it feel when you were finally able to attain that goal after so many trials and errors and failed attempts ? The significance of that moment probably felt ten times more profound than it would’ve if you’d have gotten it on the first try. We may be hesitant to start something new because we’re afraid to fail or suffer… but if our mindset morphs that fear into the drive to push through those moments, as scripture says, we develop endurance. I’d rather grow more in endurance through my struggles and trials than constantly being afraid of each one. At the end of the day, I know God is always with me. Whatever He does for me is being done with my best interest in mind and I truly believe that. I’ve been through my own trials (knowing there will be more in the future) and have come out more resilient, happier and my faith in Him has only flourished in abundance. He is faithful so why should I not give Him that same chance to believe and rejoice? ❤️

  • So much meat here. Going through something now and was literally upset at God for throwing this at me right now at the time of life I’m in. I told him “I don’t need this right now, what are you doing?”. Now that I’ve failed the trial and coming through it, I’m realizing it’s exactly what I need/needed bc I need to get stronger (deeply rooted, immovable) in this area as I will definitely face more soon. God knows what we need and that we grow through trials. I’m thanking him through this. Just what I needed today :)

  • Lisa Johnston

    Amen !

  • So much to chew on just in the first 18 verses of chapter 1! Endure trials, ask in faith for wisdom, every good gift is from above.

  • I went to bed late and woke up in the middle of the night. I was slightly panicked for reasons unknown. I tossed and turned and then finally got up to read some of my book. My anxiety was increasing by the minute. I got back in bed to attempt sleep again, all while really trying to understand where my fear was coming from. Finally, I decided to nestle under my blanket of gratitude. I just felt thankful for the Lord in my life. That was the last feeling I remember before waking up this morning. That was the only feeling that calmed/removed my turmoil and allowed me to go to sleep – literally resting in Him. I praise God for my restless night because it helped me understand our relationship better. Now time for some serious coffee.

  • “Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
    – James 1:12

    Sometimes it can be so challenging to reflect on this. Especially on mornings like today when you reflect after walking through a trial and realized you have fallen short. Praying for peace as I know Gods love is with me and will never leave me even when I don’t always put His love first. Thankful that sometimes it takes falling short to run to Him and realign with how to live and walk out serving Him. Its days like today I am so thankful for His love and open arms. Thankful for this community and for Gods Word.

  • I heard this quote recently and it so ties in with considering trials to be a blessing.

    “In heaven there won’t be any pain, confusion, or loss. So I embrace my moment of pain now and give him praise in the midst of it. That’s an offering I’ll never have a chance to give him in heaven.” – Bill Johnson

    Never again will I be able to focus my heart in a way that I will through trials on this earth. My sacrifice of praise through trials is sweet sound to the ears of God. When I come out on the other side of the trials in this world I will be more rooted in my faith, immovable. May the first thing I do in every storm in this life is praise the God who has the power over it.

  • I spent time reading the passage from James this morning. It was so helpful, and I think it directly addressed the many lies we tell ourselves, the lies from our culture, and even sometimes the things we “hear” at our churches even if they’re not directly stated. So refreshing to be reminded of who God really is, his care for us, and the perspective our lives from eternity!

  • Yes yes yes yes! One of my very favorite topics is rejoicing in suffering. Because suffering builds perseverance, character, hope! So thankful to suffer for Christ. So thankful to be refined by him in my trials

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

    • Shannon

      Be careful what you wish for, some suffering is indescribable in it’s pain, and creates wounds that will not be healed until heaven. Like watching your 9 year old child die and bravely continuing to live and have faith that God loves you despite not answering your prayers for healing.

      • Missy

        I’m so sorry.

      • Alexis

        My heart hurts for you Shannon. The weight that you must carry some days only few really understand but God does. Suffering isn’t fun and I think James is calling us in his writings to a state of gratitude…not so much gratitude for the suffering but gratitude for the goodness of God, the mercy, the grace, the love, etc. For that is what will carry us through the hard journeys of life. Praying for you my sister.

      • ReneeJK

        I am so sorry for your ever grieving heart. Unimaginable, but the glorious suffering that you share with God the Father and the loss of His son makes you that much more intimate with the Father’s heart. God bless you and your family in good days and bad.

    • Becky

      Be careful what you say about rejoicing in suffering. I lost a child too, and I while I am thankful for the fruit of it in my life and closeness to my father…it is something not to be taken lightly. It is heavy and hard, even after 10 years.

  • funkybodunky

    Rejoice in trials.

    How hard that is, and yet how beautiful it is to do so.

    May we all stop and remember that in the middle of trials and tribulations, so we may praise God with faithful trust.

    “It is well with my soul.”

  • Samantha Patterson

    Thank you Father, for the grace you give during the trials we face. Thank you for the love and the joy is comfort us with! Thank you for the words to inspire us!

  • I love the book of James!

  • Thank you, God, for turning what the enemy intended for death into fertilizer for life and becoming more like you.

  • Churchmouse

    James is the first book of the Bible I ever studied so it is near and dear to my heart. I chose it for the lofty reasons that it was short and not overly theological. Yet in verses 13-18, James jumps out and shares the Gospel. We birth an evil desire and let it run which leads us to sin and the penalty which is death. We are lost in our sin, guilty and condemned. BUT GOD gives us new birth by the Word of Truth. The Word/Jesus tells us to repent of our sin and confess He is Lord. Believe in Jesus and have eternal life! We are set free from death and eternal life is birthed! Life will not magically be easier but because of this new birth, when we face trials, we can rejoice that He walks through them with us. Endurance and steadfastness in our faith is birthed in the midst of the very fiery furnace we feared. Out of the ashes, life! Praise God!

    • lynne

      Wow!! You said that so beautifully. thanks for sharing!!

    • Alanna

      Thank you for sharing that recap! “Life will not magically be easier but because of this new birth, when we face trials, we can rejoice that He walks through them with us.” Sometimes I feel like Christians forget this part – that the world is still corrupted by sin and that will never go away until Christ comes back, but in giving us the Holy Spirit, God has equipped us to face our trials and to learn from them. How then can we not praise Him? :)

    • TerriB

      beautiful truth, amen

  • Tochi Heredia

    Oof, was this a good one!
    Thank you for reminding us that we have plenty reasons to praise God. Our suffering pales in comparison to the magnitude of His love for us.

  • I have been spending a lot of time in Psalm 25. The first part of verse 13 says, “His soul shall abide in well-being.” That verse has been resonating in my heart for several days. I loved what was said about not minimizing trials; don’t rush through them. One of the reasons that I believe I will be able to do that is because my soul abides, rests, waits, in well-being. The part of me that is most essential abides in well-being. Everything around me may be in total turmoil and chaos, but I can rest in the truth that I am being kept by my Papa God. I am undone and overwhelmed by the truth that Almighty God, Creator of the Universe looks at me and loves me enough to take me through trials; to grow me into the woman He wants me to be. He will always make it count. I just have to rest and abide in the truth that I have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who be God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. IN THIS YOU REJOICE….” (1 Peter 1:3-6.)
    Be blessed, sisters!

  • These verses have a special impact for me as a trial lawyer. I literally “face trials” all the time. And it is hard to consider a trial “pure joy.” Trials are hard and emotionally draining! Trials are adverse and tricky! But the Lord tells me here to ask for wisdom and let perseverance finish its work. Lord give me wisdom to know when to persevere through trial and also when to settle cases! You are the source of wisdom and you will give generously your good and perfect gifts! Give me wisdom today for my cases and clients, Lord!

    • Emily B.

      I like the connection you made between trials of this life and the trials you deal with as a lawyer. Thanks for sharing!

  • I think when we’re in the middle of suffering it can be hard to rejoice in it, to see the good God is working, but, looking back, I can see that the hard times are when my faith has grown the most.
    When other things I put my hope in were taken away it highlighted my need for God and caused me to turn to him and see that he is faithful. There truly was fertile soil in those dark valleys.
    This gives me hope for other circumstances where I can’t see the good, to trust that God is working, that the initial growth takes place below the surface, long before we ever see it, and that the end result will be something beautiful.

  • The fertile valley–what a phrase. I never want to be stuck in those valleys. I’m not sure where my next steps will lead me. I must fully trust. Blindly trust. And yet, that’s where my growth happens. I become stronger. My faith is justified. My hope is proven. Is there pain? Sometimes more than I can endure. But God…is the lifter of my head, my Redeemer, my Comforter, my salvation. And though I walk through the valley…He is with me.

    • candacejo

      So true! My husband preached a message yesterday about storms and trials and their purpose. Of course they bring us closer to God, no doubt, if we allow them to. Ultimately, they are to glorify God! And they will, again, if we point everything back to Him. We don’t necessarily get excited about a trial or a storm that has entered our lives, but if we can somehow realize that God can take anything and make something useful or good out of it. Some things are just “life” but yet He can use it for His glory and strengthen, establish and renew us in the process. ♥

    • Katalina

      Amen! I love this.

  • Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials.”

    You had said that to me in my worst possible nightmare dark dark days, I may has done something awful to you… these are words I now understand, but on that road that seemed like there was not tomorrow, these absolutely are not words you want to hear… How do you rejoice when your world has been shattered into so many pieces you can’t actually see anything through the rubble? When your life has changed forever, never to be the same? When tomorrow looks so so empty, you don’t want it to come? Or be a part of it?
    Rejoicing was not my first, my in-between, my any kind of reaction thought…

    But God…
    I love those 2 words..
    But God…
    I wrestled with Him, I pulled Him up on His promises to answer prayer. I questioned Him on why He had not heard my cries. I accused Him… I ranted and raved ..
    He showed me where the heart of my sadness was… in a meadow.. happy, well and healed…totally…
    I rejoiced, when I realised the gift God has given me… 1) for the TRUTH that God did care for me, but most importantly He cared and loved my daughter too. He has healed her and she was Happy, far happier than she would ever have been here on earth in her broken hurting body…
    2)My girl was healed and was with God…
    I asked Him one day, why didn’t He give us more time, in a sad moment, can I tell you what He whispered to me… ‘Would that have been enough? You would have asked for more time again, all the while your daughter suffered…in pain..’
    I weep at the selfish, yet loving heart full of love, I have for my daughter, but I rejoice because I know where she is, I know she is happy. I know she is healed..I know she is with the Lord.. . And for me there is great rejoicing in that knowledge…Amen…
    Amen.
    Thank you Lord God for this precious gift that allows me to rejoice, this precious gift that does not take from the sadness, but rather wraps itself around my sadness to ease the pain of loss..Thank you Lord for always being there.. Thank you.
    With love right back to you Lord God in the name of Jesus..
    Amen…

    Sending love wrapped hugs to you my Sisters.. Have a God blessed Monday…xx

    • Gema

      Wow! Thank you sister for sharing this and showing us Gods beauty through difficult times. Is amazing how God loves each one of us and how he does work all things for our good. Thank you for sharing this truth that is so difficult to understand, yet is so reassuring that God is always with us. God bless you sister.

    • Melissa

      I love that God is big enough and loving enough to allow us to rant and rave and question Him when we are at our darkest. He is so patient with us. And once we are able to be calm, He whispers His promises. I’m so thankful that he knows our pain, and that He is the ultimate Healer.
      Thank you for always sharing such heartfelt words, Tina. I always look forward to reading your comments :)

    • Emily B.

      Tina, I always get tears in my eyes when I read your sweet comments about your daughter. I so appreciate your vulnerability in sharing them and how you never fail to give God glory, no matter how painful things were/are. Thank you for always being willing to share your heart with us.

    • Ashley M

      Thank you for sharing this! Your heart of compassion and empathy for others shines through your wounds and your words.

    • Debbie

      Thank you for sharing your heart, sweet Tina. My tears fall as I read of your heartache, suffering and pain but Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… comforter, prince of peace stills your aching heart. Bless you xx love Debbie (living in Qatar) from South Africa

    • Lenna

      Thank you for sharing and you are a true warrior of Christ, victorious in Him!

    • Tricia C

      I’m reading this a week later but just wanted to thank you for your testimony Tina. Love you sister.

    • Vangie

      Thank you for your story.

  • Love that you are looking at James! And I love that delicate balance of rejoining in but not because of suffering. I know my main spiritual growth has come from the hardest times and the biggest lesson has been to find God’s will and sovereignty within those. And to learn that I won’t always understand his purpose but can trust his Father heart

Further Reading...