Are you feeling the summer heat yet? Nothing like a cold lemonade or a dip the pool to help beat the summertime heat. Perhaps the heat you’re currently experiencing is not so easily curbed. Are you feeling the heat of turbulent times? We should expect trials as followers of Jesus. In fact, James tells us we should consider them “great joy.”

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (CSB)

James’ words seem counter intuitive. I should have “great joy” in the midst of my suffering. A little perspective may help. We often think of testing in the pass/fail sense, but James’ use of this word is different, and understanding what he meant brings great clarity.

Testing in this passage is the process used in silversmithing to purify silver. Silver is heated to the point of melting, which causes impurities to rise to the surface and are scraped off. The Silversmith repeats this process until there are no impurities left. He knows the silver to be completely pure when he is able to see his refection perfectly in the silver.

Jesus uses trials in our lives to do exactly what the Silversmith does, use the heat in our lives to draw out our impurities until he see’s his perfect reflection in us. That’s why we can “consider it great joy.”

God loves us too much to leave us in our mess. His love is drawing us closer to Him and His likeness.

Join me in prayer:
Jesus, thank you for the change you bring to my life, and thank you for the trials you use to draw me closer to you. Jesus, help me to find joy in the heated trials of my life. Thank you for loving me where I am and also for loving me so much you refuse to leave me in my mess. Allow me to see and celebrate trials you have already lead me through so I can give you the praise you deserve.
Amen.

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