“When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy” James 1:2

There’s a significant difference between (a) having ‘many kinds of troubles’ and (b) getting into lots of trouble.
You can’t avoid the first category but you can avoid the second! God can, and does, use our mistakes to teach us, but enough trouble will come your way just from ‘life’ so don’t go out looking for more. James describes ‘many kinds of troubles’ because usually it’s not one big thing going wrong but a lot of little things. Whether its lots of health, relationship, money or emotional trouble, they all affect us in various times to various degrees. We can’t easily avoid the troubles of life. Trying to avoid trouble is like changing our school so that we don’t have to do those exams we’re dreading. Well, the next school will have exams too, possibly harder than the ones in the previous school.

Troubles are part of the ongoing tension of life. It’s how we deal with these tensions that counts. And that, we suggest, is through faith in God to help us. Peter gives us encouragement, saying: When your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world (1 Peter 1:7).

So what now? You can’t outrun troubles and trials, but God promises to be ‘our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1).