“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” – James 1:2
Read that verse again. James is saying, “Consider it all joy.”
What? How do we make that happen?
And furthermore, if you look closely, he doesn’t say, “IF you face trials.” God’s Word says, “WHEN you face trials.” In other words, it’s a given. He also doesn’t say “trial.” It’s not singular, it’s plural. In other words, we’re going to have a lot of problems. Count on it.
Of course, that’s not news to most of us. So many are going through very difficult trials right now. Loss of jobs. Facing financial difficulties. Prolonged illnesses. The trials of grief. Some have very unhealthy work situations or are facing relational challenges within your families.
So, you might ask, how can we have joy in the midst of trials when it’s contrary to human nature? Well, the person who is a follower of Jesus Christ can begin to understand joy amidst trials when they realize that their trials have a purpose.
Read the scripture one more time. When we go through trials, we can begin to build endurance, patience and perseverance. Sometimes it’s only when we come to the end of ourselves that we’re able to release those trials to God and say, “God this is too big for me. I can’t deal with it.” Then, we begin to see the power of God’s strength in our lives and, amazingly, we find joy in the midst of it…C.S. Lewis called it “Surprised by Joy.”
If you’re going through some difficult times in your life, hand them over to God. Trust Him enough to know that He will walk (or carry) you through all of it. He won’t let go. Once you have done that, and you realize you’re not alone, you’ll feel a smile creeping onto your face and a sense of joy will begin to flow into your heart. It really is amazing.