Consider it Joy
Whenever I experience tough times, my initial reaction is usually, "God, get me out of this, fix this!" I honestly am not sure if there was ever a time when I went through a trial and my first reaction was…joy. Seeing the scripture in James makes me think twice about my situations. When I am persecuted, lied about, and rejected, I am to consider these things as joy because through these experiences, we produce endurance which causes us to mature spiritually. I don't know about you but this makes me feel a little indifferent. However, God did not promise to rescue us from every bad situation. Many times we are to go through these things and allow Him to be with us and show us direction and grant us peace during the storm. It can certainly take some time to reach this point of spiritual maturity. But there will be a day, when you realize, no matter what you do, people will come against you.
No matter how much good you do, there will always be those who don't approve and they desire to tear you down. This is the time when you can really shine for Christ. Be a God-pleaser rather than a people-pleaser. Do what is right, regardless of how you feel, this where you begin to grow in the Lord exponentially. Allowing people see how you handle tough situations can be the biggest testimony to the world. When your reaction would normally be to get revenge but you offer prayer for someone instead; when you are having financial difficulties and you are joyous throughout the day; when you continue to walk in love even though someone is tearing you down; these are the times people take notice that you are different and they will want to know why. This is when your spirit will rejoice because you are witnessing to people who are searching for Truth from someone who is real and not a hypocrite.
Take time each day to study His word and learn how Jesus would react to tough situations. Study the lives of the disciples and learn from them, even their mistakes. Study the life of Christ! We aren't perfect, but we can handle ourselves in an appropriate manner for His name's sake. The closer we get to Jesus, the more people will see Him and not us as we share His love with the world! The joy of the Lord is your strength! Boast in your weakness because He gets the glory for His strength in you! Don't give the devil your joy - be filled with the Spirit and rejoice!
James 1:2-4 (AMP) Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.
Matthew 5:16 (AMP) Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.