“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.” That’s what James said in the first chapter of his book in the New Testament. He went on to tell them. “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 says in verse one that he is writing to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. I’ll bet that they were facing more than a few trials at the time.
Think about the last time you found yourself facing a difficult thing. I’m guessing that pure joy was not the emotion you were feeling at the time. How odd to think we should receive hard things with joy. But that’s what the Bible tells us will yield the best outcome. Know that when our faith is tested it produces a perseverance that keeps us hanging in there…growing us into maturity and into a place of lacking nothing.
I love how The Message tells us James 1:2-4. “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
That really is a gift!