Is there joy in hardship and suffering?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds… James 1:2

I like the phrase “pure joy” because it suggest a joy that is contrary to one that is counterfeit. It points to a joy that is deeply rooted in Jesus and that weathers the storms of life without being derailed. This verse does not say “if ever you face” but “whenever you face” and did you notice that there will be “trials of many kinds”? One of the not so attractive promises that Jesus gave us was that in this world we would have trouble. (John 16:33). Not attractive at first glance but this week we will see how beautifully God promises us His glorious lemonade when life throws lemons at us.

Firstly we need to realise that trouble, hardship and suffering are part of our journey. Let us not be triumphalistic in our approach, i.e. thinking and proclaiming (“naming and claiming”) that everything will always go well for us. That way we might lose out on some of the glorious gems that God has for us in times of hardship.
Secondly, let us learn to rejoice in times of hardship. Look up each of these verses and see how the theme of joy or rejoicing is a common thread when approaching hard times. I’m sure that today you will face some challenges. See if you can keep Christ at the centre of it all and draw on His Holy Spirit for joy and peace.

Matt 5:11-12 “…Rejoice and be glad…”
Rom 5:3-5 “…we also rejoice in our sufferings…”
1 Pet 1:6-7 “…In this you greatly rejoice…”