Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. (James 1:2)

In June 1985, a young woman was trying to catch a train from Chicago to Carbondale, Illinois. Standing in line at 6:00 a.m., she asked for a ticket to Carbondale. After waiting for the train, she looked at her ticket and saw that the destination was a city named Carbondale in Missouri not Illinois! That caused her to miss the right train and end up taking a much slower bus home. The next day she found out that the train she was supposed to be on had hit a bunch of hay bales that were left on the rails. Later she reflected, “With clear vision I now saw how God’s loving care purposely orchestrated the standing in endless lines so that I would be spared a disaster.”

James told us to “consider it pure joy” when we encounter difficulties of many kinds. The reason for our joy rests in the sovereignty of God not the circumstances. He promises to waste nothing in our lives, even the inconveniences we experience. He is always working behind the scenes, implementing His plan for our lives.

The admonition to rejoice when difficulties come is not a command to generate feelings of happiness when life is hard. Instead, we base our sense of well-being in the Lord, no matter what’s happening around us.

Never lose your confidence in God’s sovereignty.

Doug Schmidt lives in Denver. His favorite thing to do is to sit in comfortable chairs and “download the day” with his wife.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.