Facing Troubles with Joy
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:2–3 NLT
How do you face your troubles? Stop and think about it. What do you actually say and do when something hard is going on? Take time right now to list out your top 5 responses to challenging times.
James, Jesus’s half-brother, watched Jesus go through all kinds of unfair treatment culminating in an absolutely horrific crucifixion on a cross. James offers a perspective that may be absolutely surprising given what he had seen and experienced: …when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy…
Was “joy” in your top 5 responses?
There is a reason James write’s this. He also experienced the resurrection of Jesus. He saw His own brother alive again. The joy is produced. It was during this time that Jesus opened up the full truth of all he had been teaching.
Following this time, the Holy Spirit came and guided James into truth after truth. The Holy Spirit gave James comfort and encouragement.
In short, James was ready for anything, because of everything he had been through. He knew first hand that hard times produce incredible results if our eyes are on Jesus and our help if the Holy Spirit.
So back to your troubles and challenges. Do you see the potential of what God wants to do in your life through these times? Do you see the capacity God wants to build into your life as you work through and live through hard moments? Do you sense the presence of God’s Holy Spirit with you every step of the way?
James understood the truth of viewing any kind of trouble with joy, because of what is produced in our lives when we stay focused on God.
Encouragement: List out your current troubles. Ask God to help you see the capacity and strength being produced in your life during this time. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with God’s unspeakable joy.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for the words of James. He writes from the depth of firsthand experience with Your son, Jesus. Please help me to see the deeper work You are doing in my life through troubles and challenges. Let me face these situations with joy, knowing that You are providing endurance that reflects the “raised from the dead to life” endurance of Jesus Christ.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
-Ed McDowell, Executive Director,
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center