It can be easy to feel joyful when life is easy. When we are happy, it is natural to feel we are also joyful. However as we discussed Tuesday, happiness is not the same as joy.
It is unnatural and inappropriate to be happy at a funeral, when visiting a sick loved one, or comforting a friend in a difficult situation. But we can and should be joyful in these situations. James 1:2 instructs us to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind.”
As we discussed on Monday, joy comes from knowing your salvation is found in Christ alone and that once you have repented and been washed free of your sin, there is nothing that can separate you from the love of your Heavenly Father. Therefore, even in the difficult times where you might feel lonely, misunderstood, or overwhelmed, you can still radiate joy because you know the truth that none of these emotions or trials can separate you from God.
The author continues in James 1:2-4 to explain that you can find joy in suffering and hardships because these trials will test and strengthen your faith. Your faith will become mature and strong. Your fruits of the spirit, including joy, will be even more present in your life.