Lent Devotions 2008: Monday 25th February

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds; for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)

I never have questions about my faith. I don’t run into trials. My patience is never tested…

Wait a minute… I did have an argument with my friend the other day. I wasn’t very patient with him and certainly wasn’t in my thoughts.

Maybe God sent that as a trial for me.

Wait a minute… Do I have the right faith if I am so easily overcome by my emotions in everyday life?

Do you ever find yourself asking this question? Maybe your friend asks you about your faith directly and you don’t know how to respond. The fact remains that we are tested as Christians. Our faith is put into question.

The author of James tells us to be joyful in our trials. The source of this joy is the one that was sent to us from our Heavenly Father, who shared with us the tests and questions of this world and who ultimately stood before the Father under the Heavenly trial that would determine the fate for all mankind.

Jesus Christ passed every test. This is why at the end of the day we do not fall into despair but are only strengthened by our daily trials. For in our trials, knowing the ultimate result of Christ’s victory over death, our own steadfastness in the faith increases with every test.

We know we fall short. But we also know the one who has not fallen short. Our faith does not rest on whether we continue to fall short but on whether Christ will continue to forgive our sins.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, never doubt that God will forgive us. For when Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 18:21 how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus responded with an uncountable number. How much more will God be willing to forgive you?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the wisdom to see that we are indeed tested and that You are with us when we face our trials because You face them with us. Give us the strength to face our trials head on and grant us mercy when we fail. And at the end of our lives Lord grant us Your Ultimate Grace, which is Salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ alone. Uphold our faith so that we may cling to that promise today with steadfastness. Amen.