When I read my heart stopped, a light bulb moment-..... "Consider it pure joy" ...I began to really think about this verse. I don't know if I or anyone else has had this come to mind when faced with the news of terminal illness or while you are going through fear of losing their home or job. Does "Consider it pure joy" come to a persons mind when they are laying in a hospital bed or when your child is in the hospital with a life threatening illness or in a VERY dark place suffering from depression feeling hopeless thinking no one cares. My mind was racing with so many different things I have gone through and what others I know have gone through. I do not think,"Consider it pure joy" is the FIRST thing that comes to mind, believer or not! I know I have been very guilty of feeling pity for myself with feelings of defeat. But as I thought about it more and the Lord revealed, as I was reading, with a proper perspective we would be able to see pure joy in our trials.
God lets trials happen because, you see.....trials are character building. Trials shows us what we are made of; they humble us and remind us of what is really important. And through our tests/trials they bring us closer to Him. God lets trials happen to us to help us with our spiritual inventory. He will allow us to go through trials so that we realize what is in our hearts. God knows what is in our heart. He is not testing us for Him; He is testing us for us, to help us.
What will keep us, is trust in God. The trust that God is working things out for His own Holy purpose. No matter the depth of the trial having the right perspective will dictate how we react. "4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4 Using wisdom before reacting emotionally and keeping proper perspective is key. But that is hard, how can you NOT react emotionally when our heart gets ripped from our chest with the challenges of life.....do you think you would or can find joy in it or through it? Can you see your faith in your test? Go to God with it....scripture says that "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." James 1:5
We have all had our fair share of trials. Whatever we are facing or have faced there is a reason for it. What should we take out of our trials? What do they teach us? When I read chapter 1 in the book of James, I thought about the things that I have gone through in my life and I can honestly say that I am who I am because of my trials. A test of our faith is how I see trials. They remind us of what we are made of, like in Job. He was faithful throughout all his lose and personal tragedy. Never once cursing or giving up on God. And Abraham, he did exactly what God told him to do because he had faith His Heavenly Father had a Holy Purpose for asking him to sacrifice his son, this is why he is called "Our Father of Faith" (find Abraham's story in Genesis 22) Trials also keep us humble and shows us what we really love. They help us to see where our perspective is and helps to grow into a person with tools equipped to help others. We all have testimonies of developed faith; faith that has been strengthened through trials in turn growing more mature and spiritually strong in faith to better serve our Heavenly Father!
I have everything I need.
2 He lets me rest in green pastures.
He leads me to calm water.
3 He gives me new strength.
He leads me on paths that are right
for the good of his name.
4 Even if I walk through a very dark valley,
I will not be afraid,
because you are with me.
Your rod and your shepherd's staff comfort me.