Trials — Joy — Really?

“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy” (James 1:2).

Hmmm.

Trials — nothing but joy?

Hmmm.

When have you ever thought, “Oh Joy!” when you were going through a hard time? How is that even possible? What in the world does this even mean?

First, notice the Bible doesn’t say be happy whenever you face trials. That’s impossible. What we’re called to is to “consider it nothing but joy.” As you read the rest of the paragraph in James 1, it fills you in on why the Bible says that. I invite you to do exactly that. But I want to point out some other things about this verse.

Notice it says that we are to consider trials as joy. It’s not going to feel joyful. It’s not going to feel good. But that we are to take hold of our emotions and thoughts and we are to subject them to Christ, and because of Christ, consider our trials as nothing but joy.

Why is that?

That brings us to the second word I want to highlight: “whenever”.

Notice that the Bible assumes Christians will go through hard times. It doesn’t say, if. It says whenever. Hard times, trials, difficulties, hardships are going to happen.

Trials and hard times fall on all human beings. That is universal. But there is a huge difference for the Christian when trials happen. When a Christian goes through trials and hard times, Christians never endure that alone. For Christ is with us. God never promised we wouldn’t face storms. But God does promise that he would be our peace in the midst of the storm. We are never alone. God is always with us.

And, that makes all the difference in the world.

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