James, always challenges me. It is the book I go to when I want to straighten my attitude out. I really love the book of James, and I like what it says. Let's go through it together. Well, I will go through it and share my thoughts and you can comment if you wish. :)
Consider it pure joy when you face trials. That's sounds odd, so why do it? Because it says that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Have you ever done something over and over and over and over and over and over and over....yeah, me too. And you get frustrated because every time you do it, over and over and over and over and over...you feel like a failure? Yeah me too. But consider this, what if the very next time you got it. You nailed it, you handled it. Then the next time after that you did the same and the next time you didn't even notice it happened. That's how it works, it's like practice, or quizes, we just get to keep taking them until we've perfected them then we don't have to take that test anymore and we advance a grade and move on to the next quiz. Yes, that's life.
Next, it says, if anyone lacks wisdom, you should ask God. I like that, it doesn't say you should ask the opinions of all your friends, or family, it says ask God. I like that it even gives a reason. It says that God will give freely to you without finding fault. Have you ever had a relationship or friendship that after awhile, just doesn't work out anymore. Mostly it's because, someone got hurt, or angry and they've let you go because of it. God doesn't work the same...he doesn't hold grudges and you can be sure when HE provides wisdom it will be in your best interest. SO...how do you ask God for wisdom and find the answer? Get into the Bible. Every question you have is answered there. You just have to want to find it.
And finally, this verse in James tells us how we need to prepare to ask. You must believe and not doubt. You can't ask God for something and then think to yourself that "God doesn't answer prayers". You can't ask for your marriage to be saved and then go flirt with someone else. You can't go to church on Sunday and tell God you love him and then kick him out of your house the rest of the week, so you can feel like he doesn't see what you are doing. :)
So we should goal it to be challenged to count it all joy when trials come...just to see what God is trying to strengthen us for. God can turn all things around, and he can overcome anything.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.