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Dear friends,

Today I’m reflecting on this verse:

“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  (James 1:2)

How is it possible to find joy in life’s trials?  It’s counter-intuitive to think there’s something to be happy about while we’re struggling, or to look for a greater meaning in our pain.  When we hurt, we just want to stop hurting, and we cry out to God for relief, promising that when relief comes, we’ll be able to focus on our lives in a positive way once again.


But James isn’t just offering a platitude, telling us to put on a happy face – he gives us a “because.”  Testing produces perseverance.  It makes us stronger.  It strengthens us in ways that nothing else can.  “Count it all joy” means looking for the opportunity to grow, even when we’re feeling defeated.  It means trusting that God will use it for good.

We don’t always welcome the chance to flex our faith muscles, but muscles only grow when we challenge them.

Today I’m reminding myself to look for the joy.