Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
So says James in verse 2 of chapter 1. Of course that’s a lot easier said than done. I don’t know of anyone who enjoys going through tough times in their lives. But the question we need to ask ourselves is how do we respond when they come?
That’s what David and his men had to decide. They were sent back from the Philistine army, but when they arrived home, they found that their town had been attacked and burned, all their wives and children taken, and all their other possessions gone as well. And so it says that David and his men wept until they had no more strength to weep.
Then came the next response of the men. What was it? Bitterness. And anger. They were so upset, they were ready to kill David, blaming him for their troubles.
But how did David respond?
But David found strength in the Lord his God. (verse 6)
David could’ve sunk down into depression. He could’ve become bitter and angry himself. But instead, he turned to God and found strength in him. Instead of turning away from God in his hard times, he sought God and his wisdom.
And with God’s leading, he then went out and took action, going with his men to find the attackers, and recover all they had lost.
How do you respond when hard times come? Do you get bitter? Do you get angry at God and at others, blaming them for your troubles? Or do you find your strength in God?
Do you seek him and his wisdom, following his leading? Or do you just wallow in self-pity?
Let us learn from David, who refused to let bitterness, anger, and despair get the best of him. Rather, let us turn to God for our strength and wisdom, and take action as he leads us. And as we do, we will find that our trials will become pure joy.