2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:2-8 ESV)
Lord, in addition to the daily temptations we face from the world, the flesh, and the evil one, we collectively face a new kind of burden. There are emotional, financial, and personal pressures pressing down upon us which we find ourselves ill equipped to face. Fear, anxiety, and confusion are in the air. Yet, your word instructs us in your good ways. This trial is not one that surprises you, so may it affect us toward holiness and devotion. Develop our faith as we endure, so that we might more resemble Jesus in the way we believe and live. The wisdom we need to navigate these confusing and anxious days comes from you by your word. You will not begrudge us for our ignorance, but will generously give us your wisdom when we seek it. I don’t understand how these various trials work to complete the new life you’re creating in me, but your grace and mercy are abundant enough to cause these present trials to strengthen our faith and lead us in your everlasting ways. Your ways are higher than ours, and your goodness and mercy to us is unwavering and unending. Banish distrust in you from our hearts, and when doubts arise let us run to the cross of Christ where will find grace to help in our time of need. In this we rejoice, that you have never left us nor will you ever forsake us. In this world we will face tribulation, but we have cause for rejoicing because you have overcome the world. So we place our trust and our hope in you, our Risen Lord Jesus, who was tempted as we are yet without sin. You know suffering and even death, and have faithfully endured and conquered them. So let us set aside our sinful burdens and run with perseverance among the great cloud of witness who have finished this race. We fix our eyes upon you Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith, who endured and faithfully completed this race with joy and for joy. And you are our joy, as we await that day when we will see you face to face, when all things will be set to rights, and when we are with you forever and ever. Amen.