James says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” James isn’t saying we should be happy and cheerful during trials. NO! Happiness is different from joy. Happiness is a response to your circumstance.
Joy, however, has NOTHING to do with your circumstance. Joy is IN SPITE of your circumstance. Joy is the experience of knowing that your Father in heaven is present with you even in the worst of trials, guiding and leading you THROUGH IT.
There are 3 products that God produces in our lives during trials.
IT PRODUCES PERSEVERANCE
When we first encounter a difficult trial in our lives, it can feel like an attack and our first inclination may be to pray that we get out of it ASAP! But James is saying here: “Hey, when a difficult trial comes, but understand that IT ALSO SERVES AS TEST, A REFINING PROCESS that produces in you perseverance and equips you with the godly-resolve you need for the next seasons of your life.”
That’s the idea of perseverance; it creates in us a spiritual sturdiness, a spiritual stick-to- it-ness, so that, when you face another trial later in your faith, you already have everything you need to withstand it.
IT PRODUCES A RICH PRAYER LIFE
Few things DEEPEN + STRENGTHEN your prayer life like a stormy trial!
The contents of our prayers will take on a new spiritual-weightiness because it’s hard to be casual with God in prayer when you’re in the heat of a trial. So, all of a sudden, our prayers are no longer the routine requests about the same old thing we have always asked for the same old way.
Not only that, but in your prayers, trials will FORCE you to begin contemplating who you truly believe God is and what HIS WORD says He can do. (Psalm 28:7, Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 54:17)
IT PRODUCES WISDOM
So, James is making a case here that your greatest need during a trial is not a quick rescue from it; rather, what you most desperately need from God in a trial is WISDOM. James is not just giving Christians personal advice here. The instruction to ask God for wisdom during trials is a divine command! Why?
Because God wants us to have clarity in what He’s doing and to avoid wrongly interpreting the real reason we’re facing a trial.
With godly wisdom, you will understand the nature and purpose of the trials you’re facing and you’ll know how to meet it head-on so you can come out on the other side victorious. Godly wisdom will explain to you:
- “Here’s what’s going on.”
- “Here’s what I’m supposed to learn.”
- “Here’s what I need to do next.”
James 1:5 assures us that God is invested in you more than you realize and ready to pour down like heavy rain, wisdom into your life to help you make sense out of the trial you’re experiencing.