NIV James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
As a child I was told that lima beans were good for me. Now I am in my 50’s and I am still not convinced. Paul says we should count the test we go through as joy. This is not an easy statement to believe.
When conflict comes my way I find it hard to be joyful. When I am in pain I find it hard to be joyful. When I have been betrayed I find it hard to be joyful. When a loved one dies I find it hard to be joyful. Perhaps what Paul is really wanting us to focus on is perseverance.
There is a joy in perseverance. It is the joy of accomplishment. It is the joy of survival. It is the joy of knowing you are stronger than the challenge you have faced.
Perseverance gives us confidence. Confidence gives us assurance. Assurance takes our faith beyond the idea of believing to knowing.
We are all currently persevering. We are waiting for our own escatological event. Trails help us prepare. Trials increase our hope for the promises to be fulfilled. This is where the journey is taking us.
NIV Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.