Consider It Joy

James 1:1-2. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.


Consider it joy?  Time out.  Something must have been lost in translation here.  “Muscle through it” or maybe “try to stay optimistic” when you are faced with trials – that makes more since.  But, Consider it pure joy?  


But James explains in verse 3: “…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  You see, any time God allows you to suffer difficulties or hardships it is always for a purpose.  Sometimes it is to get our attention and correct us from taking a course that will harm us.  But other times it is to develop maturity and build our spiritual character for a greater purpose and blessing.  Deuteronomy 8:2-3 explains that God led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years to humble them, to test them and know what was in their hearts.  He could not bless them with the abundance of the Promised Land until He had broken their disobedient nature and stubborn pride.  Only then would they obey Him as God led them to an astonishing victory over the inhabitants of that land.  


How do you handle the trials in your life?  Do you view them as opportunities for God to draw you closer to Him and grow your character?  Do you become sensitive to His leading and adjust your attitude quickly or do you wallow in self-pity and prolong the lesson?  He loves you too much to go easy on you and allow you to stay immature – unable to handle the blessings and responsibilities He has prepared for you.  

My father often said to me as a child, “we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way.”  Sometimes I think my Heavenly Father says the same thing.  He does not easily give up on the good plans He has prepared for me so…I guess I still have that option.   

Pastor Jonathan