The follow excerpt is slightly modified text from Kay Warren’s book “Choose Joy: Because Happiness is not Enough.” The modifications add my point of view and let it make sense for the framework of previous discussions.
“The Bible says in the first chapter of James that our “faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors” during hard times. It doesn’t matter what I say about living a life of joy and faith. What I really believe is obvious to everyone —especially to myself — when bad times come.
James 1 says to “consider it a sheer gift when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” Another version of James 1 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters …”
The first reaction for most is usually anger, despair, or bitterness — not joy or thankfulness for the “gift” of difficulties. When I react like that, I get disappointed in how far I still have to go to be a mature man of God.
We hate the process that makes us like Christ because it involves pain, sorrow, stress, and upheaval. Yet we all want the product: spiritual maturity. James tells us not to try and wiggle out of the hard times too soon.”