Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…
James is writing to Christians who suffer persecution. How should a student of Jesus react in such trials?
James has a surprising answer – Consider it pure joy!
We might understand if he advised us to endure the trials or even muddle through them the best we can. But be happy about it!
Is he joking?
Now James isn’t saying we will ever enjoy suffering. Nor did he say trials should be joyful experiences. He said we should consider it so. He is asking us to view suffering for Jesus from a different perspective.
Trials can cause us to grow, become stronger and therefore more mature in our faith. These results of trials should be viewed as a source of joy.
…the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…
Following Jesus involves a degree of suffering. It’s unavoidable! Becoming like Jesus, doing what Jesus did leads to trials because a life lived like His leads to confrontation with the values of the world.
And Jesus suffered, but the result was a resurrection from the dead and glory with the Father in heaven.
James wants students of Jesus who suffer for their faith to know they too will have a reward. This should be a source of joy in the trial.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.