“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” James 1:2James 1:2-12
We all come into this world with the reality that we’ll face suffering in some way and to some degree. Not one of us is immune to it. Trials will range from the inconveniences of everyday life to the catastrophic, earth-shattering upheavals. In the middle of suffering, it seems impossible to consider it “pure joy.”
My initial response to difficulties is to wallow in self-pity, thinking, “Nobody knows how tough this has been for me,” and “It’s not fair that this had to happen to me.” But God really does call us to joy in those times (1 Peter 4:13, Romans 5:3, 2 Corinthians 12:10, Romans 12:10). It’s not a call to a superficial faith which is only an inch deep. Nor is it a call to pretend that suffering does not exist. I can testify that neither approach brings much joy. Rather, it is a call to an unshakable joy that is based, as John Piper describes, on “the thousand-mile deep rock of God’s Word.”
Because of what God has done through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we stand firm—even joyful—on God’s Word and promises.
Lord, in my suffering, please move me away from self-pity and give me unshakable joy for your glory.