Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-3 NIV
We've faced a lot of trials and I know there are a lot more to come. I have to admit that when I read that verse my initial response is always "trials are pure joy ~ I don't think so!" The other day when I was reading this verse the word "consider" jumped out at me. Here's a couple of definitions I found online for the word "consider":
To think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision; contemplate; reflect on. To regard as or deem to be. To think, believe, or suppose, to bear in mind; make allowance for, to pay attention to; regard. To regard with respect, thoughtfulness, honor, etc.
This verse isn't telling me that I need to accept trials as pure joy but I should consider it. God knows that my first reaction is typically 'trials = bad, hard, difficult, stressful ~ anything but joyful'. This verse has challenged me to think about our trials from His perspective. In my heart I understand it but my mind is still ~ well ~ considering the possibilities.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9
Hmmmm ~ trials come to prove the genuineness of our faith so that we can reach our ultimate goal - the salvation of our soul. Yikes - instead of whining to God about my trials I should be thanking Him for them? Something to consider . . . . .