[image: Our Daily Bread]
[image: Our Story]
Fiery Trials

September 21, 2016

Read: James 1:2-12
Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 7-9; 2 Corinthians 13

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of
many kinds.—James 1:2

Fire can be one of the worst enemies of trees. But it can also be helpful.
Experts say that small, frequent fires called “cool” fires clean the forest
floor of dead leaves and branches but don’t destroy the trees. They leave
behind ashes, which are perfect for seeds to grow in. Surprisingly,
low-intensity fires are necessary for healthy growth of trees.

Similarly, trials—pictured as fire in the Bible—are necessary for our
spiritual health and growth (1 Peter 1:7; 4:12). James wrote, “Consider it
pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let
perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not
lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

It is in the season of trial that God’s purposes are often realized, for
there the conditions are right for us to grow into spiritual maturity. This
growth not only equips us for living, but it also enables us to more
accurately reflect Jesus to a world that desperately needs Him.

In the hands of our Father, our trials can achieve His purposes for our
good and for His honor. They can shape us into the likeness of His Son.
—Bill Crowder

*Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and
the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished in me.
Encourage others! Go to odb.org <http://odb.org> and share what God taught
you through a challenging time.*

Faith is seeing God in the dark and in the light.

*INSIGHT:* James, the half-brother of Jesus, believed that Christ was the
Messiah after witnessing His resurrection from the dead. James led the
early church as a “Messianic Jew,” a term referring to someone who has been
reared in the traditions of Judaism and who acknowledges Jesus as the
Messiah. In today’s reading, James says that a positive attitude toward
trials—“consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials of many kinds”
(1:2)—is central to the Christian life. Trials are beneficial because they
produce positive character change through the power of God.

[image: Our Daily Bread Ministries]

Our mission is to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable
and accessible to all.

Our vision is to see people of all nations experiencing a personal
relationship with Christ, growing to be more like Him, and serving in a
local body of His family.

To read today's *Our Daily Bread* online visit www.odb.org

Copyright © 2016, Our Daily Bread Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49555 USA.
Written permission must be obtained from Our Daily Bread Ministries for any
further posting or distribution.

Scriptures taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission.
All rights reserved.

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