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.

- James 1:2-3

When faced with or overwhelmed by challenges, grief, suffering, or misfortunate, the last thing I would feel is joy. Instead of happiness, the usual feelings I would experience would include disappointment, sadness, anger, stress, worry, or loss of control. Interestingly, it is during these trying times that I draw closer to God and rely heavily on my faith. Even in the darkest hour, I find strength and hope in lifting my worries to our Lord. In so many ways, it is when I am challenged that I find focus in my faith, intention in my relationship with Christ, and peace when I lean on God.

Without fail, when I do make it through these difficult times, I find myself matured, having more patience, developing greater endurance and feeling more enriched in my range of human experiences. It is these moments that create the cornerstone for my faith and are the anchors that help me through future challenges.

While I am not sure if I embrace these challenges as moments for "pure joy" yet, I do fully understand how I should be happy and grateful for these opportunities for growth. At the time, I may not like them, but in hindsight, I am always appreciative and glad of what these moments have taught me. During dark times, we will be tested, and we may feel alone and abandoned. Rest assured that God is with us, and through these moments we will build resilience to make us stronger as individuals and in faith. Even during the harshest of conditions or circumstances, there are reasons for happiness and pure joy.

Reflection: The last few years have been challenging on many fronts for individuals, for families, and for the global community. How has your faith been tested and what within these experiences could you consider as pure joy?

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The last few years have undoubtedly been difficult for many and we likely have felt many trials come at us in all directions. For our devotional this week, we will explore how we should consider these moments as pure joy. Enhance your experience with music from Calm Christian Music, which includes worship music, hymns, gospel music, and audiobook readings to help you further your faith.