James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
We must not sink into a sad and disconsolate frame of mind, which would make us faint under our trials; but must endeavour to keep our spirits dilated and enlarged, the better to take in a true sense of our case, and with greater advantage to set ourselves to make the best of it. Philosophy may instruct men to be calm under their troubles; but Christianity teaches them to be joyful, because such exercises proceed from love and not fury in God. [Matthew Henry Commentary]
In his book Hope Is Contagious, (Zondervan, 2010), Ken Hutcherson shares a moment from his personal life that illustrates well the ability to foster joy in the midst of trying circumstances, even as he was battling cancer:
You can face anything in life�anything�and have that same inner peace and joy. And when you do, it's contagious. It lifts up everyone else around you. Isn't that the type of person you want to be? Instead of joining over and over again in the whining about how bad things are, just your presence shows others that, hey, life is still a wonderful gift we should all be enjoying.
[One day] I was relaxing in my recliner after having spent five hours in the emergency room the night before. I'll admit I was exhausted, and the pain medication wasn't working as well as I would have liked. I looked around and saw my family going about their lives as usual. Video games. Chores. Music. Laughter. My wife, Pat, was fixing breakfast. Even our new little puppy was settling into a comfortable routine and enjoying everyone's efforts to spoil him. A visitor stopped by to chat. Some friends from church surprised me with a birthday cake�I had almost forgotten it was my birthday. So there I sat, surrounded by so much goodness even as I'm feeling lousy. My favorite cake is staring at me, but I have no appetite. My eleven-year-old runs past me, and I don't have enough energy to grab him and wrestle him to the ground like I used to. I'm trying to have a conversation with my guests, but between the short night and the powerful pain pills, I can barely stay alert. And you know what I'm thinking? Can you imagine how close I am to being overwhelmed with what is happening to me?
The words practically shouted from inside of me: "Isn't God great? What a privilege to be his child!"
Often our bodies and minds want to tell us there is no joy to be found. The Apostle Paul experienced this as he sat in prison. There were times he was hungry, cold and alone. Yet Acts 16:25 tells us, �Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.� Even though Paul was still in prison he found the strength to sing hymns to God, which encouraged the other prisoners around him. In your struggles stay joyful that others may see the hope of God in you.