"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..." James 1:2
This verse in James chapter one has been circulating through my always busy mind lately. That's usually a sign to me from the Lord that it's time to get something out on paper. "Consider it pure joy..." I'm being really honest here - that makes no sense whatsoever!
I am definitely in one of those "facing trials of many kinds" seasons in my life. Everything in me, above me, on each side and underneath is being stretched these days. You know the place I'm referring to. The, " just when you think you might have a few things figured out - Wow, what just happened? kind of places." My rational mind says, "hold on, hang tough, push through, surely this won't last forever." But my spirit keeps rehearsing this directive in James, "Consider it pure joy". Am I reading that correctly? It doesn't say just joy. It says - pure joy!
How can I do that pure joy thing? I'm guessing the key is in the next verse, "because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." Hmm. OK. So these trials are producing perseverance. Webster's defines perseverance as, "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition." So I understand that every trial is an open door for joy if I keep in mind that each one brings with it the opportunity to get stronger in the face of failure or opposition. These are not just random things being blown in my direction. They are my chances to grow! I can run away or I can stand strong in "His mighty power" and face them down. With each one He walks me through, I stand a little taller and walk with a little more confidence than the last because my faith in Him shined through the struggle.
Pure joy - huh? Sounds pretty good to me.