CONSIDER it pure joy,
my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
BECAUSE you know that the testing of your faith
Let perseverance finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
– James 1:2-4 (NIV)
My friend Paul, from our Life Group, pointed out to us that this portion of Scripture in James says “consider” it pure joy when you face trials. It doesn’t say “feel joyful”. It seems to imply that you mentally consider it. You make a thinking decision.
When trials come, we don’t usually have a feeling of overflowing joy and happiness. Trials are hard and draining. They take a lot out of us. But we can consider it pure (free of contamination) joy when we face trials BECAUSE we have the assurance that it is producing perseverance in us.
And we need to LET PERSEVERANCE FINISH ITS WORK in us. There is no hurrying or getting past certain trials. We need to let the work be completed.
When we do this, we become more mature and we won’t be lacking. That is encouraging when the trial is a financial one or a loss. The Lord assures us that we will not be lacking anything when we allow God to work through our trials. He knows what we need.
Then in verse 12 we see this –
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.
There is heavenly reward for those who persevere under trial! What an encouragement! And a joyful thought! The crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
So, my friends, take your thoughts captive when it comes to trials. It’s tempting to ask “Lord, why are you doing this to me??” But I encourage you to trust God’s heart for you and to consider joy in the midst.
There is much good going on
during your bad.
– Susie Stewart
…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
– 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Photo by Jennifer Macfadyen