“My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.” (James 1:2–5 NET)
Shifting our mindset to this reality is difficult to be sure. How do we consider our difficulties, trials, and the testing of our faith as nothing but joy? Our flesh pulls so strongly in a much different direction. Here are some things I have found helpful in my life and the lives of others when it comes to facing difficulties. These things in particular can help us consider the times of trial and testing in our lives as nothing but joy.
- Remember that God is in control-“There are many plans in a person’s mind, but it is the counsel of the LORD which will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21 NET)
- Remember that God will never leave you-“Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the LORD your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!”” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NET)
- Remember all the blessings and victories you have had in the past- “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35–39 NET)
- Remember that God can and will meet all of your needs- “And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May glory be given to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19–20 NET)
- Remember that God has overcome the world through Christ- “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage–I have conquered the world.”” (John 16:33 NET)
- Remember that God has given you all the answers you seek through His Holy Word-“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” (2Timothy 3:16–17 NET)
- Remember that in the end God works everything together for the good of those who love him- “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28 NET)
- Remember that his grace is enough for you- “But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.” (2Corinthians 12:9 NET)
These are the things I try to remember when I am facing difficulties in life. Personally I have found that remembering these things helps me to consider even my most painful trials as nothing but joy. Which of these things is your favorite? What would you add to the list? Whatever you are going through today consider it nothing but joy!