By nature, our values are backwards and upside down in relation to God’s kingdom. We are wired to save our own lives, but Jesus tells us to lose them for his sake. Necessity requires us to prioritize food and shelter, but Jesus says the Kingdom is what really matters.
Nowhere are my upside-down, backwards values more evident than my preference for a life that goes smoothly. Nothing frustrates me more than problems that disrupt my plans. I mean, who plans to have problems, right?
But Jesus says, “Problems are precisely the point.”
That’s why James says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2 NLT)
God’s people see problems as a reason to celebrate because God’s goal for our lives is maturity, not a big house on Easy Street. Only when we are spiritually mature can we bear the fruit of the Kingdom, and we will not reach maturity unless we endure trials. We can’t develop endurance unless our faith is tested by troubles.
Got trouble? Good for you! The good news is, you aren’t alone.