James 1:2-3, “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Say what!? How in the world are we to consider facing various trials and hardships “pure joy?” Either James is playing a cruel joke on us or he is living in fairy-tale-land playing “make believe,” right? I know that is how many people view the above verses, thus something must be missing from our understanding if we are to consider it pure joy when we face various trials. As a result, the key to understanding the joy in trials is found in verse three where James writes, “the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Therefore, we are not rejoicing in the trial itself, we are rejoicing in the outcome of the trial. For example, if your child turns their back on God after you have raised them in the “fear and admonition of the Lord,” you don’t rejoice and say, “I’m so happy right now because my child has turned away from God. This trial is absolutely pure joy!” God forbid. But rather, you are to rejoice and say, “I praise God for this trial and count it as pure joy because I know my faith will get stronger through this and my perseverance will increase to see this trial through to the end!”
In other words, every trial you face is producing a deeper faith and perseverance in your life. This faith and perseverance will result in great blessings in this life and the eternal life to come. Therefore, don’t allow discouragement and depression to come when you face various trials as if God is not in control. But rather, rejoice and trust that God is allowing you to go through this time of testing to increase your faith and perseverance.
You will make it through the trial stronger then when you started!
- Think about two trials you’re facing today.
- Now rejoice for the promised outcome you will have when the trial passes.
- Trust God that He is with you and that He will bring you through whatever you’re facing.