Every Christian faces hard times, and when we are going through them we can often fall into the trap of thinking that God has forgotten us or that he doesn't hear our prayers. James reassures us that trials are a normal part of the Christian life, even more so than for non-Christians, as God uses trials of many kinds to train us in perseverance, bringing us to maturity and completion. For the Christians James was writing to, "trials" meant primarily persecution, something we in the west have been shielded from for many years. With the rise of aggressive atheism today, many commentators are saying we may not enjoy this peace and comfort in the future. How will we fare if our faith is tested like that?
Jonathan was formerly a staff worker of Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, at Magill and Mawson Lakes campuses of the University of South Australia, and is now the Pastor of North West Community Church in suburban Adelaide, South Australia.