James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Joy is not a natural response in times of trouble. I don’t know anyone who says, “Yay, I’m losing my job today”. “Yay, we are being evicted”, “Yay my mother just had a heart attack”. But James tells us to have GREAT joy when troubles arise. This takes a lot of will power to turn your mind from the fear, anguish, sadness that it wants to focus on and consider this situation a joy. Some may say this is so impossible I will not even try! So what is Paul talking about? It is not saying that we must respond with joy when troubles come. Verse 3 says we must recognize that this trouble is an opportunity to exercise our faith, and exercising our faith ought to produce joy. The conclusion I see is that we have to change our definition of joy from "Everything is right in our world, to everything is right in our spirit". WOW! We have a lot of work to do. May God bless you to find this joy on your journey