'Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.'
Most of us do not like trials.
We'd much rather avoid trials.
But each one of us endures trials.
And, it is often through our trials that we grow.
We grow in faith. We grow in patience. We grow in humility. We grow in love.
When a loved one dies, when we suffer from illness or pain, when we suffer emotionally, when we are persecuted.
Even in the smaller trials of every day life.
The battles that we need to fight with our children.
The battles that we fight against our own sinful selves.
The battles we fight when dealing with conflict.
They all teach us.
They may teach us to throw ourselves more fully on Christ.
They may teach us to be long-suffering or patient.
They may teach us to be content in all situations.
They may teach us forgiveness.
They may teach us that we have lingering sin that needs to be addressed.
So when we are faced with trials, we may rejoice in our suffering.
We may count ourselves blessed.
And, we may give glory to God as we look to Him for patient endurance.
We can say with Job, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)