Consider It Pure Joy

Trials that produce perseverance

Cat lifting weights in the gym.
Cat lifting weights in the gym.

I practice the Christian faith and over the years my relationship with my Creator has been a great source of strength and empowerment. In the darkest times of my life, including when life itself was close to ending, my faith provided a comfort that surpassed all understanding. Still, a verse that has often caused a great deal of reflection for me is James 1:2-4.

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.

Could it really be that patient endurance could produce joy? Could every challenge we overcome build our character and prepare us for greater purposes? Could my God really be at work even in the midst of such pain, darkness, and turmoil?

I don’t know about you, but when I encounter trials and hardships in life, my natural inclination is to question or even resent the difficulties I experience. However, James’ words provide a different perspective that I am working on embracing. He encourages us to take these challenges, the dreadful, the seasons in life that we just want to forget and consider them pure joy.

James understood that these parts of our story have transformative power. As we endure hardships, our capacity to remain steadfast and resilient increases. Each trial on our journey that is overcome strengthens our perseverance, making us better equipped to face future challenges.

Just as physical exercise (and this is coming from a guy who does not exercise much) builds endurance and strengthens muscles, the trials we encounter in life develop endurance of mind, spirit, and body.

I am learning to find joy when I go to the resilience gym. It is often difficult and going for a workout may leave my socioemotional state sore and feeling defeated. However, my mindset shift reminds me that I can overcome. Not only will I overcome this storm, but I will also be equipped for future storms as I grow stronger. What joy in knowing that He has overcome and there is purpose in my journey.