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beardedmanAll of us go through difficult times. The question is, “How do you respond when you’re going through a tough season of life?”

In his New Testament letter, James instructs his readers to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2).

It seems like virtually impossible advice to follow. But let’s be clear: this is not just a doctrine of “be happy, no matter what.” James is not saying, “Your baby is sick, be happy! You got in a car accident, be happy!” That would be a stupid doctrine.

If we read on, James continues, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (vv. 2–4).

So much develops in us when you and I face trials. Things like empathy, resilience, and contentment. But James says the most important thing to grow in us is patience—the ability to keep our faith in God even while we’re waiting on Him to act in tough circumstances.

And the growth of that patience is reason to rejoice!

In January 2014, I was in a serious boating accident and rushed into surgery. The first thing the lead surgeon said to Janet when they came out of surgery with me was, “Every one of us thought we were going to lose him. We didn’t think he’d be able to live.”

I had bleeding on the brain, and an artery had sprung a leak. My throat was crushed and torn open. I had a dead vocal cord because of all the trauma in my neck. And so I was in the hospital for a long time.

Eventually I did get out of the hospital; but because of my injuries, most people couldn’t understand what I was saying. I had to learn how to speak all over again. Even now I have to form certain words a different way than I used to.

I’m acutely aware that the main reason I am here today and can carry on a conversation is because of the grace of God.

But in that whole period of healing, I needed to be patient and keep my faith applied until all the work that God wanted to do in me was done.

Copyright © Bayless Conley
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Bayless Conley
Web site: Cottonwood Church
Bayless Conley is a pastor and speaker known for his clear presentation of the Gospel and the way he applies the life-changing truth of God's Word to everyday life. It's this same truth that radically turned his life around when a 12-year-old boy shared the Gospel with him many years ago. Bayless' unique background and remarkable testimony have enabled him to reach a diverse audience of people globally. In 1979, God called Bayless to share His Word on television, and in 1984, the broadcast was launched. Today, the Answers with Bayless Conley broadcast is impacting lives around the world in numerous languages.

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