Consider It Pure Joy
December 20, 2022
James 1:2-3 - Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
James was the half-brother of Jesus and today’s scripture was written to the Jewish Christians throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Can you imagine how encouraged the readers of this letter would be to get a letter from the brother of Jesus Christ? It sounds like they definitely needed it as it starts out talking about the trials of many kinds that they are facing.
Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. A couple of other words for perseverance could be endurance, grit, persistence, determination, steadfastness. The opposite of those words would be apathy, indifference, weakness, laziness. When faith doesn’t endure, it becomes indifferent, so if you don’t want your faith to become indifferent, then you need to face some trials.
Now most of us would say in spite of trials, not because of trials… usually you think that when trouble comes, your faith is threatened. We don’t usually think of it as strengthening your faith. But faith can be like a muscle. If you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger, not weaker. I think that’s what James meant here. When your faith is threatened and tested and stretched to its breaking point, the result is perseverance, endurance or steadfastness.
Those who are in Christ can express joy in trials. Others who are not in Christ can be happy, faithful and even caring when life is easy, but when life gets hard, their strength fades away. When life gets tough and you face trials, do you disappear? Or depend even more on God? True believers show their genuine faith when trials are present by persevering and growing even stronger.