“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2, ESV).
Do you know why you’re here? On earth? Have you thought much about that lately?
At this point in history, it’s easy to just skim information, watch random video clips, or amuse ourselves with whatever’s trending. The Bible, however, speaks of inescapable realities that are much more important than whatever’s streaming on your device at the moment.
Such as, Why are you here? Do you know? Because that’s what matters. And that’s what God’s Word is here to show you.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” This single verse, though perhaps not a direct answer to that question, gives us clues as to why we’re here. It indicates that we are not here just for laughs, to run a successful business, to become well-known or famous, or to earn a name for ourselves. We are here for purposes that require us to go through a lifetime of challenges and tight spots—“trials of various kinds”—so that we can display the superiority of life lived in God.
Mind if I say that one more time? We are here to display the superiority of the life lived in God. That’s a really important sentence. Because as you know, trials and troubles come to all people. They’re a part of everyone’s life. But in how many people do those same trials and troubles produce . . . “joy”?
Joy is not normal. Joy is supernatural. You can’t craft it in your basement or create it through an experience of hard work or pleasure. Joy is something you can only get from God. Therefore, unlike those who don’t know Him or don’t have a genuine faith in Him, believers in Christ are the only ones supernaturally equipped to walk through “trials of various kinds,” generating “joy” in the process.
Joy—a supernatural delight in the person of God, the purposes of God, and the people of God.
Joy—springing up from a genuine worship of His grace, perfection, beauty, love, power, and goodness.
Joy—born of realizing that He is doing something awesome around you all the time, even when you can’t see it or feel it.
That’s why even Christians get cancer. That’s why even Christians go bankrupt. That’s why even Christians can have prodigal kids, suffer chronic back pain, receive rejection letters in the mail, and get into accidents on the freeway. God allows us to face and feel the same things that people who don’t know Him experience, so that we can put on display the joyful distinction of what it means to be His child—what it means to live with hope and eternal perspective.
So press your mind down on that. Think about it hard today. In light of what’s happening to you right now, and in light of why you’re here, what can you do in this moment to best display the superiority of life with God?
This post originally appeared on Dr. James MacDonald’s daily devotional Our Journey and was republished with permission.