“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”James 1:2-3
Former Navy SEAL Commander Jocko Willink used one word to respond to bad news: “Good.” When they did not get the gear they needed, he said, “Good.” About the broken GPS system, he replied, “Good.” Willink saw what others did not: that these were opportunities for growth. These challenges were chances to learn how to do more with less and sharpen their navigational skills.
We typically do not think like this. I know I do not! But it hints at a biblical truth. Trials are a reason for joy. They bring us to the end of ourselves and to the feet of Jesus. They give us opportunities to mature and grow in faith. They’re good.
When we enter the valley of darkness—work dilemmas, health issues, money troubles, family problems—but are carried through by faith on the back of Jesus, are we not more confident in our Redeemer and the mercy of God the next time we face a trial? Yes.
This is not to say trials are fun or painless. But we can and should rejoice knowing our hardships and sorrows are being used for good (see Romans 8:28).
“Trials keep us trusting; they burn away our self-confidence and drive us to our Savior.” (Edmund P. Clowney, 1988)