Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Growing up Snow White was my least favorite fairy tale because the Evil Queen always scared me. The Evil Queen had a magic mirror that she would look into every morning and repeat the phrase “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The magic mirror would respond, “My Queen, you are the fairest in the land.” The Evil Queen would always be satisfied with the answer because she knew that the mirror could not lie. But one morning, after years and years of the same response, the mirror had a different answer. “My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you.” Upon hearing this the Evil Queen becomes furious and hires a huntsman to track down and kill Snow White. 

There is an old saying that mirrors don’t lie, they just reflect what is placed in front of them. In the book of James the author states, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” That word testing here comes from the Greek word dokimion describing precious metals that are put through extreme heat in order to remove all of their impurities. The purification process is so intense that one can see his or her reflection in it, much like a mirror. 

The testing of one’s faith in verses 2-3 refers to the trials we face in life. The bible is very clear about the Christian life being hard and that as a Christ follower we should even expect hardships. We see this truth echoed in places like John 16:33, 1 Peter 4:12, 1 Peter 5:10, and Romans 12:12. The bible teaches that testing is not done in vain however, its meant to produce patience and endurance in order to make us more like Jesus. If we are honest most of us ask God to change our circumstance when we find ourselves in the midst of a trial. But God doesn’t want to change our circumstance. His desire is to change us, to make us more of a reflection of Him. Trials, though they are hard, are meant to make us better, they are meant to make us reflect the one who made us. 

What is your response to the suffering you face in life? Do you hunker down and wait for it to pass praying that God will just make it all go away? Or do you trust in His goodness to know He is working to change your heart to reflect Him? 

Heavenly Father, thank you for the trials that I face in life. Your Word reminds us countless times that we have nothing to fear and that You walk with us through the highs and lows of life, both the hills and valleys! Lord, help me to seek You in the midst of my suffering and know that You are making me more like you. In Jesus name, amen!

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.