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.
I have read this verse many times and it has only been in the last few months that I have really focused on the plural content here. 'Trials of many kinds' does not mean a trial or two but lots and lots of trials consisting of all sorts of different things. Christians can be under attack from Satan but they also may be going through trials in order to create perseverance in our faith, which is unseen.
We are going to face trials, that is a given but God tells us to 'consider it pure joy'. Now really?! This is totally backwards to our way of thinking. It does take a bit getting use to but the quicker we learn this lesson the better it is for us and those around us. After all, who wants to spend time with a grumpy, miserable person? Well, you might for a while but after a bit of hanging around a cantankerous person you will find it rubbing off on you.
Joy, defined by Dictionary.com
the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation,
Wow, this is pretty backwards to our general line of thought, 'caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying', Let's look deeper.
Every single person has trials to go through and I can pretty well guarantee that it is not pretty. Most often it is extremely painful, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or financially. So then, if joy is caused by something fantastic how can we feel and manifest this joy while we are in pain? Let's look a bit further. The last part of v 3 says; 'the testing of your faith produces perseverance'.
James 1:4 NIV
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Perseverance, defined by Dictionary.com
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.
We are building endurance, training for the race of life. Perseverance will get us through and focusing on the prize at the end of the trial will give us joy while going through the trial. What is this prize? Treasure in heaven. A home that will never rot, no darkness, walking in the physical company of Jesus and uniting with believers from all over and so much more.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Remember when you were a child and you were playing a game? How that game was so very real, you believed it. This is how we should be with believing and not doubting God. Ask God and believe it is yours and He will give it to you. It may not manifest in the way you think it should but it will be perfect because it is His way.
You are not alone in this life, Jesus is right beside you through all of your trials. Trust Him. Believe in His Word, for He cannot lie. Be joyful in all circumstances and remember if at first you don't succeed try and try again.
Please remember five year old Ansley in your prayers. She is going through this last bit of chemo and is so very ill. She told her mom she just wished someone would kill her so she doesn't have to deal with this cancer any longer. How sad for a mom to hear that. Please lift her up and keep her covered in the Blood.