Joyless Trials

This is an incredibly rare way of thinking that is upside down to this world: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” James 1:2

It may be common enough to meet believers who can look in the rearview mirror on a past trial with a measure of joy because they have seen what God has accomplished through it, but it is uncommon to meet believers who face current trials or looming trials with true and abiding joy. Just take a look around.

That’s because this way of thinking requires great faith. Indeed to be joyless in the face of trials is to be faithless in the face of trials.

To be joyless in the face of trials is to be faithless in the face of trials.

To have joy requires that we “see” and believe something that isn’t immediately apparent – something that is hidden behind our trials. It means that we see trials with a redemptive purpose as the “testing of your faith” that “produces steadfastness.” James 1:3 Like a tree is strengthened in the dry season as it pushes roots down deeper in search of water, trials are meant to strengthen our dependence on God and produce a steadfast faith that will not be easily shaken in the future.

When you look in faith to Christ seeking His glory your trials are never wasted and are cause for joy.

So what’s your trial? Relational issues? Financial issues? Job loss? Declining health? A loved one suffering? A rebuke from a fellow believer?

Certainly don’t sit back and wring your hands assuming there is nothing to do about it. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5), act righteously (even if it will bring on more trials), but do not cut and run. Face your trials with joy knowing this is the blessing:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12


Keep your eyes on Christ! (Hebrews 12:1-2)