Here we are, in the aftermath of earthquakes, Hurricane Irene, in the midst of massive flooding, and the anniversary of one of the worst terrorist attacks on our homeland since Pearl Harbor.
So why should we consider it "pure joy?" In the face of trials and tribulations, our initial gut reaction is to lash out in our flesh with anger, resentment, and always the question "why." We are human beings. This is what we do. And it's not only in the BIG things that we are human, it's in the little things...
like when your child has disobeyed you for the umpteenth time today, or that your "check engine" light has come on for the 3rd time this month, or that you haven't had time to clean your house in the last two weeks.
However, for the Christian who has placed his/her trust in the Lord, has faith and belief that what God has promised is true, the words "consider it pure joy" have much meaning.
In the Bible, in the book of James (2-4), he tells us to "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."
This passage is not telling us to forget. It's not telling us to regret. It's not providing any answers to the question "why." What it is telling us is to persevere! It's telling us that God will test your faith through MANY trials; that if you persevere and trust that God will lead you through it, your perseverance will be rewarded. Cling to God and trust that He is in control...no matter what happens and no matter the outcome.
It's not an easy task, I know. But it's a task that will ignite in you the power and strength of the Lord.
So consider it pure joy ... whatever you face ... that you have God on your side!
And God never goes back on His promises ... never!