James 1:12: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

The apostle James wrote a letter to believers whom he most likely could not contact in any other way. Writing letters was the social media of his day and age. There was no telephone, no internet, no TV, no radio. Long distance communication had to be in writing, which in turn required literacy.

Every generation has its own problems, so the topic of James’ letter – persevering under trial – is always current and very applicable to any time in history; however, what does this even mean – a person who faces difficulties is being tested? What exactly is our test in situations when we are stuck between a rock and a hard place?

New prescription drugs and complex machinery such as cars, rockets and airplanes are routinely submitted to rigorous tests; – so are human beings – albeit for different reasons. We are constantly tested, whether it is for educational, career, or athletic purposes; however, I believe the hardest of all is the character test.

Italy became a great inspiration to the world when appearing on global news during the 2020 pandemic. Confined to their homes to curb the infection rate, the Italian population stepped on their balconies using everything they could lay hands on to make loud and cheerful music. If they had no instruments available, they banged against pots and pans while singing their hearts out to boost the morale of their countrymen.

We live well when we love well. Love looks out for one another, which is why love is so big, especially in tough times. Living life in this fashion, we will discover that we have everything, especially in times of adversity.

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