This week, we’re revisiting one of my favorite verses with a slightly different emphasis. When we first looked at it during Advent, we were focusing on joy. But it was on my heart this week to talk about the inevitability of trials and where God is in the midst of them as we again turn to James 1:2.
Our Verse of the Week
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.James 1:2
I clung to the command and promises of the first few verses of James when I went through some of the darkest moments of my life. To fully appreciate this “pure joy” he’s speaking about, take a look at the whole section:
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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I’m still far from “mature and complete,” but I can say that the trials I’ve been through were stepping stones to where I am now, and not stumbling stones. And for that, I have much joy in them.
But in the midst of trials …. That’s the dark, confusing place where you can’t see the point of it all. You don’t see the growth you’ll go through; you can’t see the maturing that’s taking place. Usually, it feels more like your eyes are being opened to the darkness and pain of the world, and it can be unbearable. And yet, in that place, James calls us to seek joy.
My joy in the midst of trials did not come from thoughts of a light at the end of a tunnel. It didn’t come from hope in being vindicated or healed or delivered or justified. It came from knowing that Jesus went first, and I wasn’t alone … and from shifting my faith in worldly happiness to Kingdom joy.
I think in many ways, trials are intended to open our eyes to the reality of this world. We can’t shelter ourselves forever from the truth of the darkness. We must see it so that we better understand what Jesus has conquered, and how great our God is!
Below is a look at my dialogue with the Holy Spirit while meditating on this passage. I meditate on the same verse every day for at least a week, and this is just a model to get you started. Meditating on scripture is a very personal journey and relationship with God, but you may find my Meditation Guide helpful. Subscribe now to my Newsletter and get immediate access to a Free Printable Library that includes meditation guidelines, a Meditation Journal Page, Scripture Writing pages, and bookmarks for this verse.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,: Lord, strengthen me to see the joy. Help me see all people, situations, and the world with your eyes. Teach me what your joy looks like, acts like, and loves like.
whenever: Father, I know that difficulties aren’t a matter of “if” but “when.” Help me see that they’re a part of life and growth. Spirit, remind me of these truths when the trials come.
you face trials: Lord, comfort me when trials feel like punishment. Give me the wisdom to discern the difference. Let me know I’m not alone and that you’re still with me.
of many kinds: Jesus, you faced trials of many kinds: physical exhaustion, sorrow, abandonment, dread, betrayal. Thank you for humbling yourself and going through these earthly difficulties so that I may know I’m not alone. Trials may look different each time they come, but my God is constant and where I put my eyes.
Suggested Breath Prayers
For more info on Breath Prayers, visit the article You’re Just a Breath Away From God.
Consider it joy
Trials of many kinds
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