“Consider it pure joy when you face trials”
If I wrote the bible, it would be very different. Maybe I’d write, “Put up with trials, they have some marginal benefit.” I’d never write “consider it pure joy when you face trials”. That seems heartless. James can’t be serious. . . can he?
I think he was very serious. James knew the real Jesus. He’d seen counter-conditional joy lived out, in a person. Nothing could sink Jesus’ hope — not betrayal, nor suffering, nor Satan, not even the cross!
In every broken piece of creation, Jesus saw it’s original glory – hidden and scarred by sin, but not totally obscured. Jesus knew glory is restored through a rough and tough process. Jesus experienced that on the cross. He tells us to expect it. Gold is refined through fire, and His people are remade through trials.
We value 24 carat gold. God values holy people, something more costly than gold. Consider that the next time you drop your iphone, or you have endless doctors appointments (It happens. We have the bills to prove it!). God calls us to see through the flames and envision the end product He is making; people more like Jesus. In as much as we remember that, we will rejoice in our trials and not merely put up with them.