James 1:3
1:3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (NLT)

James chapter 1 starts out with these 2 verses � (1) this letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is written to Jewish Christians scattered among the nations. Greetings! (2) Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. Then James leads into verse 3 to say when Christians face adversity, difficulties, pain, problems, issues, tough decisions, sickness, etc. � the endurance of your faith has an opportunity to grow.

I can relate very well to James 1:3 these past several months. I understand the struggles and adversity that come into life. Looking back at the past 3 months these are some of the issues our family has been dealing with.

My single mother had a mini-stroke.
I was in a car accident and totaled my car.
As a result of the accident I have been dealing with physical pain.
Medical bills have been pouring in one after another.
I had to purchase a new car � the other was paid for but the new one has payments.
My mother fell and started having dementia.
Our washing machine only 6 years old had to be replaced after it malfunctioned.
My future son-in-law, a chef, lost his job and is now trying to find a new one.
Our daughter is trying to obtain a home and now there are legal issues with the sale.
We have had to assist our daughter with the legal fees for an attorney.
My mother had to be moved from the hospital to assisted care � a costly expense.
My daughter has had to take time off work due to a chronic illness she has.

These are a handful of the most pressing issues we have dealt with as a family in recent months, but there are also the regular day to day issues we face as well. I won�t say I�m perfect at keeping a smiling face. I won�t say there aren�t nights where I don�t sleep well. And I can�t say there aren�t days when anxiety tries to overcome me. However I can say I know Christ is watching over me and encouraging me to face the trials. I am blessed to have Christian friends I can turn to and ask for prayer. I am blessed we are managing even though it�s a struggle. I am blessed I wasn�t killed in the auto accident, which would have left my wife to face these trials alone. I am glad even though it�s a struggle we can help our daughter and her future husband. God tells me I am to be thankful for all things that come our way, even the difficulties in life. And because of these trials I am learning I can endure and my strength to endure grows with my faith in Christ.

Let me encourage you! If you are facing the trials of life stay strong in the power of The Lord. You may be weak, but Christ is strong. Allow Christ to lead you, guide you and show you how to keep faith in Him. May God bless each and every one of you giving you the hope to face each new day that arises.