James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-13

The reason we sometimes get angry or bitter, or despondent and give up is because we think bad things shouldn’t be happening to us. Or we think if we obey God things should go well for us. We make our plans and if things don’t turn out as we had hoped, we pout or get frustrated. We think these things should not be happening if we are obediently following Jesus.

The truth is that with each obstacle we are provided an opportunity to grow in maturity, and in intimacy with Jesus. Each time we respond well to difficulty in our lives we grow. And James says, when we persevere through difficulty, with our hearts open to what God can do through the trial, it makes it worthwhile. We will grow in maturity, which means our relationships will get better, which is why we can have joy in the middle of trials. The result is that others will see Jesus in us and, in turn, follow him and spend eternity in heaven with us.