Have you ever scratched your head at something and wondered how can it be? You know, sort of like an optical illusion or a magic trick. James 1:2-4 is a passage like that. It says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Earlier this week we talked about the squeals of delight family members have when they hug a soldier who returns from war. That is the feeling of joy. But who, when faced with all kinds of trials will feel pure joy? Are you kidding, we usually consider facing trials pure pain!
But James is trying to change our perspective. He wants us to look past the trials to what God will produce through them, namely perseverance and maturity. It is the attitude of the athlete who says “no pain, no gain.”
Now James doesn’t expect us to squeal with delight when facing trials. That’s why he says “consider it pure joy.” We have to change our perspective. Yes, joy is a fruit of the Spirit. But this passage says we may need to do some mental work to release it in some circumstances. How’s your perspective?
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.