Please carefully read 1 Peter 4:12-16.

The Bible tells us to respond to difficult circumstances in a way that is directly opposed to our natural tendency. One of the most challenging of those commands is this: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (James 1:2). Other translations speak of viewing our difficulties with pure joy, considering ourselves happy—not resisting trials and temptations as intruders but welcoming them as friends. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the first thing that pops into my mind. This outlook would seem absurd and unattainable if not for the reason behind it: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (verses 3). An attitude of joy is not based on what we feel but on what we know of God and His work in our lives. Therefore, a painful process that yields a desired goal can be welcomed as a friend. It’s not the testing of our strength but the trying of our faith in Almighty God that develops our endurance. Through it all, the Lord promises wisdom for today (verse 5) and a crown of life for those who persevere (verse 12). My natural response to difficult circumstances is “Oh, no!” The Lord wants me to see what He can accomplish through them and say, “Oh, yes!” Our Daily Bread 11/19/04, David McCasland

There are so many things that can be learned through the trials of our faith. But to experience without learning can be a very painful thing. It is for that reason I believe our response to the God-given trials is probably as important as the pain they might bring us.

The Bible again warns us not to be troubled at persecutions and afflictions, as a “strange thing. As though some new thing had happened to you, which you never thought of before.”

TOMORROW WE WILL LOOK AT “THREE LESSONS for the Christian in this short text:”

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