Joy in Immense Suffering (James 1:2–4) - Radical

Joy in Immense Suffering (James 1:2–4)

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness and let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
– James 1:2–4

Oh, what a command and scripture to count it joy when you meet trials of various kinds and even that phrase and you think about that phrase, trials of various kinds. I know that there are people listening right now who are walking through trials of various kinds of various degrees even. Some may feel relatively small. Others may feel really heavy and really significant and some may deal with things going on in your life. Some may be with things in your family. Others may be with things in relationship, work. Some may be trials you’re walking through in the church. So many different kinds and degrees of trials and yet the Bible says count it all joy. How is that possible when you walk through trials? For you know, verse three, that the testing of your faith, which it is, isn’t it?

James 1:2–4 Reminds Us that Our Faith Will Be Tested

When we walk through trials, our faith is tested. We begin to ask more questions. And we begin to wrestle with different truths. We know from God’s word. But we struggle sometimes to believe that God is good, that God is wise, that God is loving, that God is in control. We have so many different questions and struggles in our faith and there are days in the middle of trials and some of you are there right now. Our faith is hard to come by.

But the testing of your faith produces, verse three says, steadfastness and steadfastness leads to a faith that is more complete, that is more perfect, that is more sufficient, lacking in nothing and so I just want to lead us to pray right now for people who are in trials, including some of you. I want to pray James 1 over you and in the process to ask God to produce this kind of joy that supersedes trials in our lives, this kind of steadfastness and this kind of sufficiency in faith. God, we pray for this.

James 1:2–4 Prays for Those Struggling

God, I come before you right now on behalf of brothers and sisters in Christ who are walking through trials of various kinds. I pray that even in this moment right now as we’re praying based on James 1:2-4 that they would know how much You love them, that they would know You’ve ordained even this moment to remind them that You are with them, that they’re not alone, that You are for them, that all the truths and the promises we see in Your word are trustworthy, that You are all-wise.

God, may they know that You are all good, that You are loving, that You are sovereign and in control and that none of these things are out of control and that You can be trusted to work all things together for the good of those who love You and have been called according to Your purpose. So, God, I pray for joy in these things, not in circumstances and when we walk through trials, think about things in my own life, things people are walking through, trials of various kinds right now. God, I know joy’s not found in circumstances.

James 1:2–4 Reminds Us of Joy

But I pray for joy in Your promises. I pray for joy in the truths about who You are and in this, God, we pray that You would produce steadfastness, for perseverance and faith over my brothers and sisters who are walking in trials. Help them, God, we pray and bring about, I pray, the effect of steadfastness, a more perfect faith, a more complete faith, a faith that doesn’t lack anything, a faith that knows that even when we can’t understand.

You are wise, a faith that in the middle of things seeming out of control that knows that You are in control and knows that one day, these trials will end, that these trials will not have the last word. God, we praise You. We find joy in the reality that trials don’t have the last word, that, Jesus, You told us in this world, we would have trial, tribulation. But take heart. You have overcome this world.

This Verse Praises Jesus for the Cross

Jesus, we praise You for walking to the cross, for enduring the ultimate trial, for enduring death on our behalf, for conquering death, for rising from the grave, ascending in the Heaven, sending Your spirit to comfort us and help us in trial with the inheritance that one day we will be with You in your kingdom with a hope and a joy that makes trials in this life temporary and light compared with the weight and wonder of glory that is coming for us, who have faith in You.

So God may the testing of our faith and the testing of brothers and sisters’ faith that they’re walking through right now, lead to steadfastness and lead to deeper faith and in the middle of it all, God, we pray for an otherworldly joy and God, as we pray this for our own lives, we pray this for urgent workers in Afghanistan, God, for these brothers and sisters that we have the opportunity through our secret church offering recently to get behind and support and for ongoing giving to be able to partner together with these brothers and sisters and their families and their churches.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray from Afghan Believers

We pray for their joy in trials, for their steadfastness, for their protection, for their boldness with the gospel, even in the middle of trials. God, we pray for Your blessings on urgent workers in Afghanistan today. God, we pray for Your blessing on their faith in Jesus’ name, we pray all these things.

Amen and I should just add as we pray for urgent workers in Afghanistan, if you want to be a part of the work they’re doing and coming alongside them, supporting them, just go to urgentneeds.org and you can find out more information about how you can join with them and partner alongside them in what God is doing in and through them in Afghanistan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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