James 1:2 says, " Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (NIV) If you notice James says "consider it". He didn't say, "feel it". What he is talking about is a particular type of mental toughness and heart posture. It is a mentality and heart posture that reflects a deep gratitude and appreciation for the process of refinement that we all need in order to get through challenging times. In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah was tasked with getting the Hebrews on the same page with God's laws and rebuilding structures that had been damaged due to conflict with other nations. This was a project that was complex, time consuming, required incremental steps, collaboration, and was not without obstacles. It even left people weeping at one point. In fact, Nehemiah found himself having to encourage them.
Nehemiah 8:10 says, " Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." He didn't say "our joy is our strength". This is something that you can only get from God. We learn from Paul in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of The Spirit (God's Spirit) is love, JOY, peace, long suffering , kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. My friends, one thing about life is that it is not a smooth ride. Some tasks go off without of hitch, but those long-term projects with deep seeded purpose will often be faced with opposition and obstacles. However, when God has purposed in your heart a goal, He will help you accomplish that goal. Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6, " I am confident that He who began a work in you, will complete it". My friends, you just need the right mentality and heart posture to allow it to happen. For all those reading this, I pray that the fruit of God's Spirit will rest, rule, and abide in your mind and heart. I pray that whatever you put your heart, mind, and hands to will prosper.