Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desires. James 1:2, 14
Trials don’t elicit joy for me. They make me grumble, get stressed and bring down gloom on me. I have the wrong perspective, for sure. I think the clue to the discrepancy is found in verse 14 where it talks about temptation. I don’t think the trial is a temptation but our own evil desires tempt us to react to the trial in a sinful way. I grumble because I feel entitled to a trouble free life. I get stressed because I fear that God does not have my best interests in mind. I get pessimistic because I forget that the all- powerful, sovereign God is really in control. The trial is not a temptation but it does force me to face my always smouldering rebelliousness and pride.
Consider it pure joy. Because the trial tells me the truth and God won’t let me live a life of self-deception. It’s easy to love our friends but not always easy to love the difficult people in our lives. If I only had to be around my friends, I would be very smug about my capacity to love. Bring in some troublesome person, though, and I clearly see that I am not nearly as loving as I thought. God never wants me to live a lie. Only the truth can set me free, even if the truth is a hard pill to swallow.