Perserverance-James 1:2-3

James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Giacomo 1:2-3 Fratelli miei, considerate una grande gioia quando venite a trovarvi in prove svariate, 3 sapendo che la prova della vostra fede produce costanza.

 

     In the first century, persecution was quite widespread. It was nothing new to the believer. What is fascinating about the book of James is that it gives advice connecting persecution with “pure joy” (literally meaning “all joy”). It does not mean for believers to enjoy persecution but that they should face it with an attitude of joy (not for the trial but in the trial). God was not punishing the believers or trying to see how much they could endure; these words simply reinforced the realization that in every situation, the joy of knowing Jesus now and for all eternity needs to be our focus. 

     James was also one of the persecuted Christians and identified himself with the scattered believers by saying “my brothers”. James was eventually martyred for his faith; his faith was not just in words only but lived out through his death. One of the difficulties we may have with this passage is that we tend to count it all joy when the trial comes to an end. But whether at the beginning, middle or the conclusion of a trial, James admonishes us that our attitude should remain joyful in the Lord.

     So the question is “How do we do that?” The answer is plainly spelled out for us whether we like the answer or not: perseverance. If we don’t endure or understand the nature of trials, we will never gain the understanding of pure joy. Athletes often say while in training: “No pain. No gain.” Let’s learn to persevere in our trials with joy! 

Pray with me: Lord, I find it hard sometimes to see the virtue in having a positive attitude of joy in my life when life’s situations want to sap my spiritual strength. Help me to see the bigger picture of how perseverance can produce a deeper and richer joy in my life.



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