"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

- Matthew 19:26

When you are faced with challenges, do you tend to respond with joy and give thanks to God? Or do you usually exhibit frustration and perhaps as God why He has put you in such a situation?

James 1:2-18 discusses how we should welcome challenges, obstacles and sufferings with "pure joy". The passage teaches us that it is during these difficult times when our faith is tested that we learn to build perseverance, show humility, lean on God, and are made complete.

I can admit that when things are going well, I tend to forget to thank God as I should. It is often that during times of trouble that I am drawn closer to God, asking for strength, wisdom, and salvation. One of the lessons in this chapter though is that when there are good things in my life, I should also remember that they come from God.

And when times are tough, I must stay relentlessly strong, with full knowledge that God is with me. As the passage later says in verse 12, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

Reflection: Are you currently in a good place in life or are you going through difficulties? Regardless of where you are, respond with joy and gratefulness and use this as an opportunity to strengthen your faith and draw closer to God.

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With thanksgiving, study this week's blog on responding with pure joy when your faith is being tested during periods of difficulties and challenges. When things are the roughest and most desperate are the times when we must rejoice and praise for things we should be grateful for, and depend on God to help us build resilience. Accompany your scripture reading with gospel music, hymns, and contemporary praise music from Calm Christian Music.