When we experience something tough, ‘pure joy’ is not usually our first response. Oftentimes anxiety, dread, uncertainty, or feelings of disappointment are what come to the surface as we contemplate the situation at hand.
Within the verses of James 1:2- 1:4, scripture doesn’t say that these feelings will be eliminated for the believer. Within these verses, what we are learning, is that we can consider, think on, or approach our tough times with joy! This is not just any old joy. This is pure joy: unpolluted, rightfully placed, honorably generated JOY!
But how is joy possible when life just isn’t going well? It’s possible because of what it’s rooted in. This ‘joy’ is brought about by an awareness of the greater picture at play. This is an opportunity to develop perseverance and see our trials lead to maturity and fulfillment.
If our minds are focused only on the here and now, everything feels much harder and much worse. But, if we see our present-day sufferings in light of the larger course of our lives, and the importance of our perseverance along the way, then we really can experience pure joy!