Adversity is, by definition, something bad. Look it up and you’ll see synonyms like difficulties and misfortune.
So where’s the joy in that?
Dr. Charles Stanley, who used James 1:2-4 as inspiration, says the key is remembering this:
“Any time God allows trials to enter your life, He has a purpose for them. He wants you to squeeze out every ounce of spiritual growth instead of letting difficulties force you into despair and discouragement. If you’ll just respond in the right manner, the trial that looks as if it could destroy you becomes an instrument of blessing.”
The scripture James 1:2 says: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.”
Certainly, that’s hard to do. “The most natural response to adversity,” Dr. Stanley writes “is to groan and plead with the Lord to remove it.”
But adversity serves a purpose, according to Dr. Stanley: “God wants to use our trial to develop spiritual maturity, but unless you let it do its work, that opportunity will be lost. If we could foresee every benefit the Lord designed our trials to accomplish, maybe we’d be more cooperative.”
This topic was covered in Dr. Stanley’s recent devotional, which you can read here.