Consider it pure joy

December 22, 2023 | Alexandra Brownell

About the author: Alexandra Brownell and her husband, Andrew, have been members of ZPC for 7 years. They have one little boy, Rhys. Alex has served as a Deacon and is involved with NextGen Ministry, HSM, Great Banquet, and the Awakening. The Brownells have been blessed by their Home Group, who have become their second family.  

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

We, as humans, often equate joy with easy and discouragement with hard. Yet James challenges our thinking and states, “consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Have you been in a circumstance which was challenging – one where you felt disheartened? I know I have. I was in a situation in which my faith was being tested to its core. A wise friend reminded me that it's not about what I want, but what God wants, and encouraged me to pray “bless it or block it.”  This prayer means that if God blesses the situation, then he will throw the door open wide such there is no doubt that is his desire for you, and if he blocks it, then the door will close as this was not part of his plan.

Daily, I began to pray those five short words and found myself living out the words of James. I persevered with prayer and found peace which led to hope!  

Have you found joy in hardship? Have you persisted because of your faith in God? We all can empathize with the Jewish people some two thousand years ago. Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah 7:14 prophesied, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son.” The Jewish people’s faith was tested for several centuries, yet they never gave up hope; they persevered and waited for the coming of Jesus Christ. They found joy through their trials and tribulations. Ultimately, the most beautiful gift ever given to this world was born in a manger, our Savior and Lord, Jesus.

Find joy in the difficulty you face because God is walking ahead of you, beside you, and behind you. Pray in a challenging situation such that in doing so your faith produces perseverance.  Perseverance always gives way to hope. As we patiently wait for the coming of Jesus Christ, don’t lose hope. As believers, we will persist in knowing the prophecy of Jesus’ coming will one day happen again.


Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for the joyous times and difficult times in my life. Thank you for the words of James who encourages me to find joy in trials as my faith produces perseverance. During this Advent season, may the Holy Spirit fill me with hope as I wait for your son, Jesus. Give me the words to pray, the strength to endure, and the peace to persist.  
In Jesus' name,