October 27, 2022
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. -James 1:2-4
Evidently, some of you are looking at this passage in a new light or with a renewed interest and wanting to live it out. At least that’s the impression I got from the responses to my original post on learning to say GOOD. [You’ll find it HERE.]
I don’t know anyone who naturally “welcomes” trials into their lives. Most of us view them as annoyances, frustrations, setbacks and the regrettable reality of our broken world. We typically want to avoid the pain and hardship associated with these challenges. Our goal is to push through them as quickly as possible or better yet, avoid them all together.
James looks at it completely differently. He believes it’s to our benefit to face trials. So much so that we should consider it PURE JOY when they come our way.
Too many men get lost or confused by the “consider it pure joy” aspect of this verse. They interpret it to mean that they should be happy when confronted with a specific trial or pain-laden event in their life.
I know many men suffering from illness, broken relationships, lost jobs, estrangement from children, addictions, etc. It would be incredibly insensitive, wrong, and unbiblical of me to tell these men to be happy about these things!
But joy is something different. And it’s not joy in the cancer diagnosis or the divorce, but joy knowing that the Lord will USE this trial that tests your faith to make you a better man—a man who knows how to persevere. That perseverance leads to a new level of maturity and wholeness and so much more. Your perseverance leads you to a place where you are “not lacking anything.”
I want this kind of maturity in my life.
When I confront trials, regardless of the severity, and I trust that God is in that place of pain with me, I can come out the other side a better man.
Complaining, hiding, whining and wishing my circumstances were different do NOTHING to make my hardship easier to face, and they certainly don’t produce perseverance and everything that comes with it.
With every obstacle, hardship and trial we face, we have a decision to make in how we look at it and respond to it.
How do you typically respond to such challenges?
Do you count it all joy, persevere and trust the Father who loves you so much that He sent His son to die for you?
Is there any BETTER response?