11/27 James 1:2

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.

This is a transformational way of looking at difficulties in our lives. Most of us see difficulty and pain as unnecessary interruptions to the way life should be. We aren't joyful by any measure about our difficulties. James is telling us that we should change the way we see trials. We shouldn't merely be joyful, but "count it all joy." That is quite a reversal to the way the world and many Christians see things.

He goes on to say that it is through the trials that we learn to be steadfast. That means to patiently endure. He chose his words well because the root word for endurance in Greek, hupomone, can also mean cheerful. He went on to tell us that endurance results in maturity so that we lack nothing. So if we can foresee the end product of the various trials in our lives, we will count it "all joy" when we face them.

That sounds like an impossible perspective to maintain. What is your goal? If it is temporary happiness in the present, your goal is shortsighted. If it is spiritual maturity into Christlikeness so that you are equipped in every good way, then this change of thinking is practical and logical.

Consider: In the USA it is the season of Thanksgiving. The verse for today is a challenge to us all to be thankful for the result of past, present, and future trials. They are maturing us. Will you pray this prayer from your heart? "Lord, as trials come into my life, please help me change my attitude from complaint to joy."