“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 NIV
The word “trials” in these verses is from the Greek word peirasmos, which means a test of a person’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, etc. We westerners thing of them as “temptations” but it means the things in life that test and prove whether or not you’re really faithful, whether or not you really are virtuous. The tests. And James tells us that the testing (proving) of our faith PRODUCES….
Now that is an interesting word! It means “works out” or “accomplishes” but an even better way of looking at it is that tests “work down to the end-point, to an exact, definite conclusion; bring to decisive finality”–in other words the tests are a guarantee to bring PERSEVERANCE.
Again, there’s another interesting word! What is perseverance? It comes from the Greek word hupomoné and it to “endure under”… so in other words, the ability to endure under the tests that God allots in life. In other words it’s the patient characteristic of a person who is unswerved from their deliberate purpose and their loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest tests and temptations.
So the author is telling us that when we face the various tests of life, we are to consider the test as JOY–the awareness of God’s grace and favor–because proving is guaranteed to result in the ability to patiently endure under the tests and not swerve from our deliberate purpose and loyalty to God and living in His Love.
Now taking this verse to heart while in the middle of dealing with an affair can be TOUGH! I mean, how can you “count it all joy” when you are betrayed by the one you love, right? Bear in mind the verse doesn’t say we have to FEEL joy, but rather that we should be aware that when God sends a test our way, it is evidence of His grace and favor. The aim of the test , even if it is a hard, painful test, is for you to more intimately know His love and how to live in His love…and to grow closer to HIM and more like Him.