ENGLISH ARTICLE: GRACED TO OVERCOME | Joash K. George
The Bible turns impossibles into possibles. It teaches us to face our struggles and not run away from it. In order to understand how God intends us to over come our trials, let us look at The Book of James, and try to apply it in our lives.
When we look into the Bible, we find people who turned defeat into victory and trials into triumphs. Instead of being victims, they became victors. A saying goes like this, ‘When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade. James, in his 1st Chapter, talks about turning trials into triumphs. We face many kinds of trials. While this is true, it is also a fact that, no matter what the trials, through our unshakeable faith in Christ, we have victory.
It is important to understand that our outlook determines the outcome. God tells us to expect trials. John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome this world.” Being a Christian believer, we should not expect life to be easy. In James 1:2, it does not say, ‘If’ we face trials of many kinds, instead it says, ‘When’ we face trials of many kinds. Acts 14:22 says, “We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”
Here, in James 1, verses 2 and 3, he teaches us to approach our trials and temptations with joy. In Greek, the word joy is denoted by the word ‘chara’, which means cheerfulness. In Hebrew 12:2, we read that, ‘Our Lord was able to endure the cross because of the joy (chara) that was set before him’. If comfort is valued more than character, then trials will upset us. Trials will then make us bitter, not better. Job 23:10 says, “When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” So, when trials come, let us give thanks to the Lord and at the same time, adopt a joyful attitude.
James teaches us to understand the purpose of God. When God called Abraham to live by faith, he was tested. He always tests us to bring out the best in us and reminds us that, trials work for the believer, and not against the believer. There is no alternative for an understanding mind. God fulfills his purposes as we trust Him. ‘Satan can defeat the ignorant believer, but he cannot overcome the Christian who knows his Bible and understands the purposes of God.’ We not only learn ‘what to ask for’ from James, but also ‘how to ask’. We are to ask in faith! ‘The Christian who loves God, and who knows that God loves him, will not fall apart when God permits trials to come.’ The devil cannot stop, what our faith releases!
In conclusion, a major necessity to overcome trials, is a surrendered will. God cannot build our character without our co-operation. If we resist him, he then chastens us into submission. If we submit to Him, He can then accomplish His work. We cannot substitute a surrendered will. A matured believer does not argue with God’s will, instead he accepts it willingly and joyfully. Trials are allowed in our lives so that we can be moulded into becoming mature Christians, our God wants us to be. Therefore, in order to end with joy, let us begin with joy.
Joash K. George