By Dennis J. De Haan

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. —James 1:2-3

Mathematical formulas work well with numbers, but not with people. That’s why this equation in James 1 sounds unworkable:

Faith + Trials = Patience

One might better try to mix oil and water. But what makes this formula work is confidence in God’s unfailing love, which allows for all the human emotions that come with life’s trials.

Shirley and her husband Roy proved that this equation is still up-to-date. Here’s their story: Roy was told that in 6 months the plant where he worked would close but he would receive severance pay.

Shirley wrote, “Praise the Lord for that—but also praise the Lord that He loves us so much He’s given us yet another trial in our lives. (This will be the fourth time we’re starting over in the 13 years we’ve been married.) At first I panicked and questioned God’s love. But I kept reading my Bible, stopped feeling sorry for myself, and started to pray for others. As long as God gives us this roof over our heads (and even if we lose it), I’ll thank Him.”

So when you face trials, you can “count it all joy” if you add faith, knowing that God’s love will never fail. As you do, you will develop an attitude of patient expectation, confident that God will do what is best.

Afflictions may test me,
They cannot destroy;
One glimpse of Thy love
Turns them all into joy. —Willett

The first lesson in patience is learning to count our trials as joy.

Devotional forwarded to you by:


NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC


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