“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
How hard is it to consider it all pure joy? Yet God tells us we should.
God says that when times of lack, trouble, or even danger come, we should consider it joy. Not only joy perse but “pure joy”.
What does it mean to have pure joy?
Having pure joy really is being a person who embody pure joy. It is a person who has peace in his or her heart amidst whatever storm that may come. Having pure joy is really not a goal but a state. It is quite interesting.
See, as human beings we ultimately desire for happiness. I think Aristotle even said that happiness is the ultimate goal or the reason for doing anything that we do. That’s really not very different from pursuing pure joy or being a person who embody pure joy. But as I understand it, pure joy is not even required as a goal according to this verse, but more like a state of being.
What does this mean? It means we “should be” so we “would be”. But in my opinion, the “should be” part need not involve a long process of change but actually just some faith and boldness to “believe you are”. You already are because you have been redeemed by God!
Now, do you believe? And would you?
How would you? You don’t have money. You are hungry. Your grades are dipping. You have enemies. You have frenemies. Your parents are sick. Or you are sick. Or there is “not even an evidence that there is a God”. How could you?
But that makes this Faith revolutionary. Because we are encouraged not mainly to read volumes of “How To” books or listen to a lot of talks but really just to believe and have faith. Not only during “sunshines” but also during “nasa-inyo-na-ang-lahat-at-wala-na-kayong-itinira-sa-akin” times.
I know it is not easy. But just do believe.
This verse still challenges me until today but this verse has already done a lot. Everyday, I challenge myself to believe. And there was not a single time since then that I failed when I believed. Only doubt made me fail. Next time we’ll talk about it.
Have a great day everyone! God bless!