“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
In hindsight, it’s easy to see the benefit of our trials. But to “consider it all joy” while in the midst of difficult circumstances… that’s a different story. Yet, James exhorted the believers to do this very thing while in the thick of their problems. Perhaps the secret lies in looking beyond the present to the future: to be thankful for the end result of the circumstance.
James says we are able to consider it joy because we know. He’s not telling his audience to depend upon their feelings, but upon what they know to be true. Rejoicing is a choice we all have to make. Usually we only feel happiness 10% of the time (and even then it is fleeting). The other 90% of the time we need to consciously choose to rejoice. This is possible, as James points out, because of what we know: If we allow it, our trial will help to perfect us, making us more like Jesus.
So if this is really true and we really believe it, we have great cause to rejoice when we face hardships of all kinds.