“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials…”
This strikes as a rather odd verse. Is it “don’t worry, be happy?” Are we to turn a blind eye to our troubles?
Certainly, in the first century, external adversities were fierce. And, as we approach the Tribulation, this will, no doubt, intensify.
James, however, links trials to producing perseverance or endurance, or as Moffatt (The General Epistles, p. 9) calls it “the staying power of life.”
This is this process that goes on in the life of a Christian to bring about our maturity – and is also known as “sanctification.”
But why try so hard? Why not just be happy and avoid trials at all costs?
Christ answers this in Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
We are going to be facing trials, and even more so as that day approaches.
1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 commands us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks…”
Trials in your life are not the result of you being unlucky. God has purposed them for your perfection.
To take advantage of these opportunities, be also joyful, prayerful, and thankful.