Life is a journey and a growth process through which we may need help. Throughout the journey, one experiences many ups and downs, triumphs and challenging times, and victories and hardships. As the person possesses enough internal fortitude, hopefully at the end of the journey, they have become stronger and have achieved the goal they were shooting for. In the Bible, James 1:2-4 provides some insight about what can happen for Christian believers during challenging times: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance; Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
While reading these verses, my first thought is this: “I should be joyful and happy while enduring troubling times?”
In the midst of a troubling period of time, most people experience stress, anxiety, anguish, depression, doubt and disbelief. As someone survives the stressful experience they are enduring, and they are successful with meeting their goal, this not only tests the person’s faith, but hopefully strengthens it as well. As faith is strengthened, this builds confidence the person will be successful with meeting the next objective they are faced with. As faith and confidence grows, this helps to build stamina so that the person can persevere and push forward to take on the next challenge. As perseverance occurs, this assists the person with becoming more complete and better able to take on future challenges.
Regarding the passage from the book of James, we receive insight into why we should be happy about challenging times and how these events may help with building faith and developing perseverance. Agreeably, we see that tough times will help with faith and perseverance; but the question that can’t be ignored is this: “How do we get through these tough events and where does our help come from?”
The book of Psalms provides insight regarding where our help comes from. Psalm 121:1-2 provides insight and encouragement: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Master of heaven and earth.” This passage, written by Kind David during a challenging time in his life, indicated where his “help” came from — his heavenly father. He indicates understanding in this Biblical passage that God is the Master of heaven and earth and would have full control over what would happen to him. This helped King David to cope with troubling times he faced. I encourage you to please read Psalm 121 to learn more about the “help” that comes from our Heavenly Father.
James Reasor is volunteer chaplain for Ballad Health.