Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – Jas 1:2-4 NASB
Consider your trials joy…Hmm. Weird. That’s how most would respond to James’s instructions, right? What are we, nuts?
Now, wait, I think I took that out of context. Let me see if I can cut that into bite size, chewable pieces. I’ll use a recent encounter, and maybe then it’ll make more sense.
Not so long ago, I discovered a betrayal by one whom I’d considered a friend—still do. I admire this person, trusted them, and they’d let me down. Not just in a disappointing way, but in an ouch, that kind-of broke my heart way. Tears rolled the morning after I found this out, and continued as the day wore on, but God brought this passage in James to my attention.
Consider it all joy…. Still scratching my head. Where’s the joy in this?
The testing of your faith produces endurance…
In verse five, James continues his directions with something that seems like quite a switch. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.
Left turn? No. A hint. Follow this…as I worked in my kitchen through the late morning, I wrestled with the situation. “Jesus, I don’t understand how this pain can be considered joy. Will you help me with it?”
Do you know? He answered. With generous abundance, He gave new insight, and used that fresh wound to show me things about myself and about him. He used that experience to mold a portion of my heart. So (hopefully) I can be more like Christ.
In that, there is great joy.