We all face trials.  We all face struggles.  I know some of you are facing some right now:

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.  But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:2-8

Looking back, my biggest trials have also brought me my greatest joys.  They have also brought me closer to God.  Of course it is hard to see that when we are in the midst of them.  Perseverance can be hard.  God wants good for us.  We just don’t always choose it.

 Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him.  No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one.  Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.   He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James 1:12-18

It is easy to say we have faith.  It is easy to say we love God.  Through our perseverance, through our faith, we discover that we actually do.

Dear God, help me to persevere.  Help me to follow your good path.  Help those who are facing challenges, new adventures and trials know that you are near.  Help them to persevere and follow the path that you have set forth for them.  You give us fresh starts, new birth, life.  Help us to live it in a way that leads us to you.