The Joy of Trials

James 1:2 – 2 tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

Of  the  12  apostles (counting  Matthias,  not  Judas) John  was  the  only  one to  escape  a  violent  death. He did not, however, escape Satan’s wrath. John was seized from the church in Ephesus and imprisoned in Rome. Church history tells us that he was “cast into a large vessel filled with boiling oil.”  Miraculously, he was delivered and escaped unharmed.  

Afterward he was banished to the island of Patmos where wrote book of Revelation. Like  Christ, it’s  through  personal  suffering  and  great  loss  that we  defeat  Satan  and  gain  life  giving  resurrection power! The only way to avoid this persecution is to avoid Jesus. As Nik Ripken says, “before we can grasp the full meaning of the Resurrection, we first have to experience  crucifixion… Ironically, avoiding suffering could be the very thing that prevents us from communing deeply with Christ.”