The last thing most of us expect to claim is joy when we’re going through a difficult time. Should I feel joy when my arthritis flares and every step is agony? Or when my relationship with a loved one breaks down? Really, James!
But if I imagine James as an old man sharing his wisdom, then I can think: Yes, James, you learned this the hard way. Surely you struggled as the leader of the Jerusalem church, trying to keep everyone together in the face of persecution.
Perhaps you went through a personal struggle before you accepted that your brother was truly the Messiah. For it was after his death that you became a follower and then a leader in the early church.
That’s how I like to imagine James, as one who struggled with temptation and learned to ask God for help. Then as he matured in faith, he even found joy in the struggle. That gives me hope.
Dear gracious God, help me to lean on you. Help me find the unique joy of finding peace in the midst of my problems. Amen. — AK