“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let Perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I am involved in a Bible Study where we are studying the book of James. The above verse is in the 1st chapter of James, in the verses, 2-4.
The study, written by Jennifer Wilkin, asked some very pertinent questions, and I thought I would share some of my insights to these verses, as they are helping me in my own struggles to persevere.
One of the questions asked was: What makes it hard to find joy in the midst of difficulties?
This was my answer: It is hard to find joy because difficulty usually involves a loss—a loss of a loved one, employment, health, etc. — and loss brings pain and grief. Loss also makes a space for God to act and show who He is and how He can fill us and meet our needs.
I think these verses are saying: When trials come, (and they will), we can see them as an opportunity to see God and who He truly is. We can see these trials as an opportunity to see that God is really hanging onto us, and bringing us through this situation, to Him. He is growing us up to see Him clearly, so that we will know He is worthy of our trust.
When we lost Sean, we saw the truth of this. We experienced God sustaining us and bringing us through the pain and grief to Himself. We experienced the reality of the scripture: God is near to the brokenhearted. We are seeing God and His love and passion for us, as He walks us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
He will walk us through this life, until we too die, and join Him in Eternity. We consider these trials a joy, because they bring us to the One who fills us with His joy and the peace that surpasses all understanding.
The verses in James remind me to not give up—because God will never give up on me, and He will never give up on you. They remind me that when negative thoughts and lies come—to replace those thoughts with God’s truth. So:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let Perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.””
And may you be encouraged!!