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If you stand for a reason, be prepared to stand alone like a tree, and if you fall on the ground, fall like a seed that grows back to fight again. – Dr Anil Kumar Sinha

Have you ever thought why you would need wisdom? Well, maybe you’re facing challenges, or worried that you have got it all wrong. If it was the right way, why then would God let you experience suffering or hardship like this?

James’s opening exhortation: “Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). We read that suffering is part of life, but God wants His children to greet trials with a counter-intuitive response, joy! But James instead tells his readers why trials should provoke joy: “… for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”.

The word for testing (dokimion) was often used to describe precious metals put through extreme heat to remove impurities, becoming so pure you could see your reflection in it. Similarly, as God tests us and we go through the heat, we reflect his nature more. We are able to endure and remain faithful to him.

In what ways do you demonstrate your steadfast faith in Jesus? What does it look like at home, at work, with your neighbour or family member? Think back to the last time you faltered: Were you silent when you should have spoken up? Did you succumb to peer pressure and actively sin against someone? What ever happened, confess it to God and pray for wisdom and strength when the next test comes.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22–23

Written by Dr Charisse le Roux