‘When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.’ James 1:2 NLT

When difficulties come to us in life and in our relationships, as they inevitably will, it’s easy to succumb to the pathway of despair. First, we become disappointed with an event or relationship. Then as the trial lingers, we stumble on in discouragement and give up any expectation that things will improve. Finally, when we decide it is impossible things will ever change for the better, we get stuck in the gooey mud of despair.

We feel powerless and hopeless, and don’t know how to see our way clear. Instead of running our life’s race, it feels like we’re swimming below the surface in an ocean of jelly. Often when we can’t understand life’s circumstances, we limit our expectations of who God is and what He can do. We think there’s only one good outcome—the one we want!

Instead, we need to trust our heavenly Father because He may have bigger and better things in mind. We must try to see Him at work in whatever trials come our way. Remember, God’s expectations are bigger than our own, and only our heavenly Father and His purposes, no matter how painful they seem at the moment, truly satisfy our souls.

James writes: ‘Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.’ (James 1:2–4 NLT)

Keep that truth uppermost in your mind today, and you won’t give in to despair.

SoulFood: 1 Kings 18:16–20:43, Mark 12:28–44, Ps 113, Pr 12:15–17

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©