Whenever I hear the words, “Consider it pure joy…” I’m reminded of James 1:2-4. That sentence continues to read, “… when you face trials of many kinds.”
Sounds absurd. When life is going against us? Count it as joy? Well, it is ridiculous, unless we understand James’ context. What he continues to say is the testing of our faith produces endurance, and if we endure we grow in maturity, ending up complete.
James isn’t interested in getting bogged down in his pain, because he understands his pain is a prerequisite and a bridge to something better. If he bears it well.
Most of us hate pain, but James’ principle proves that not only can we endure it, we can also see God’s purpose in responding well, which is motivation, possibly inspiration. It’s the stuff of the true gospel.
Pain causes us to doubt. It makes us reassess our faith. Particularly if we’re subscribers to the ‘name it, claim it’ doctrines. And when we doubt we can feel wretched. We can feel guilty like we’re failing God. And we can feel weak, with a bad faith, and of no use to God. Then, feeling worse, we doubt more.
Doubt is the bridge to the proof of faith, for without doubting faith is not tested as faith needs to be to be truly real. Doubt ensures we tussle with faith, for faith must be a conquest. Of course, when we doubt that then is faith’s opportunity to overcome doubting, but faith isn’t faith until we’re tested enough to doubt and therefore show faith.
Feeling ‘weak’ is so often misread. Feeling weak is necessary to experience God’s strength. Feeling weak is a key to depending on God, for we don’t rely on God when we’re feeling strong.
If we know we’re doing the right thing, faith vindicates us, no matter how much doubt we experience. Therefore, when we know we’re doing the right thing we ought to keep going. After all, we’re doing the right thing and that’s all that matters.
Consider it pure joy when you doubt in tough circumstances, for in doubting faith is tested, and maturity comes when endurance is proved. Maturity is the point of life, the destiny of those who understand God.
We cannot mature unless we’re tested. Endurance isn’t real unless we face trials. Faith isn’t true unless we doubt.