James 1:2 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”
This is a good verse to quote to someone that is having a hard time. It sounds spiritual and I feel good that I have given the poor soul some biblical comfort. But when someone tries to quote it to me, I rate them with Job’s friends. Useless people who feel smugly superior at my expense.
This misses the whole point of trials.
Imagine that you are a coin collector in 1964 and obtain news that this is the last year in which the US mint will make silver coins. The value of the existing silver dimes, quarters, and half dollars will immediately increase because there will be no more made. You will try to collect all the silver coins that you can before the news becomes public and the coins disappear from circulation.
What can we do on earth that we cannot do in heaven? We get to trust God.
Heb 11:1 states that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.
When we get to heaven, we will see God. Faith is no longer needed. After we die, there will be no more opportunities to trust God. Trusting God comes through conflict, when what is comfortable is different than what God calls us to do. That is our opportunity. We usually dislike it and call it a trial. But knowing that there is only a limited supply of opportunities gives them value. James’ verse takes on a different feeling in this context. God is actually granting us a commodity whose supply will be cut off on the day we die. We can echo James from God’s viewpoint: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.