It is unreal to expect to live in a trouble free world. Trouble and problems beset us on every side. I once read of a community which was supposed to be built with homes and on residences that were to be relatively trouble free. As you might imagine, it was quite expensive. The only problem is that such a venture is done on earth with limited knowledge.

Trying to avoid problems shouldn’t be our goal. We will inevitably encounter them. It’s what we do with the problems which matters.

I’ve always tended to try to solve the problem right away myself, rarely coming to the Lord in prayer when faced with it. And probably even more rarely counting it pure joy when it happens, as again, James instructs us to do. I wonder what would happen if we would learn to consistently do both.

I think the real and most evident change would be in us, but I also think we would begin to see more change with reference to the problems themselves. Again we’re reminded by James that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. That is especially in reference to loving God and loving our neighbor. Our goal in life and in working through trials should be to fulfill that love, of course living in God’s love. Getting out of trouble should not simply be the case of saving our own necks. Not that we shouldn’t have any sense at all of self-love. The important thing here is to know that we are loved dearly by God. To accept that, as we learn to lay down our lives in love for our brothers and sisters in Jesus, as well as for others.

We need to get real with God, learn to depend on him, and persevere in all of this. Through thick and thin, together with others in Jesus for the world.