“Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you islands, and all who live in them.”Isaiah 42:10
“Land ho!” Yes, we really did yell that out on day ten at sea when we caught our first glimpse of land. Ten days may not sound like a long time to you, but on a sailboat it feels like 30 days! We had been doing two-hour shifts around the clock and were bone weary. Land meant a safe anchorage and rest.
James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Not just joy, but pure joy. I can say I considered it pure joy when we reached our destination. But did I feel pure joy in the midst of the trip? Um, maybe not. James explains, that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 3-4).
My faith was increased on our passage. We had many trials: storms, engine trouble, utter exhaustion, fear of venturing into the unknown. But God was faithful in all of it and brought us safely to the islands. God is always refining our faith and drawing us closer to Himself in whatever ways He sees fit.
We can consider it pure joy when we face trials because we know it is His perfect love in those times that refines our faith.