James, the brother of Jesus, gives us a prescription for joy, but the narrow path is more challenging than most of us would prefer. In James 1:2 he writes that when you meet various trials your faith is strengthened. Notice it is not “if we are tested” but “when we are tested,” we are to consider it an opportunity for joy — an opportunity for trust and effectiveness. It is thrilling and delightful to see how the Lord works in us and through us when we persevere and don’t faint.
Trials are designed for us as a test. Just as a silversmith keeps heating the precious liquid metal until all dross is gone, so difficulties and trials serve to purify us and make us righteous. They drive us to God and increase our trust and faith in Him. We are then ready for the good works He has prepared for us to do.
The disciples, and others who have stood on their shoulders down through the corridors of history, initiated ministry. Many others have pursued their mission and vision and have seen the Lord multiply their efforts 30, 60 and 100 fold. It leads to great joy!
Why not complete your joy by seeing the Lord multiply your efforts as you serve in His global cause. At one of our events, I interviewed a plumber and a housekeeper. They learned they could be used in roles of maintenance and hospitality. Whatever your skill, you can be used. Register at missionnext.org as a next step.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.