Consider it ALL Joy

James 1:2 - Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

Consider (hegeomai /hayg·eh·om·ahee):
1 to lead. 1a to go before. 1b to be a leader. 2 to consider, deem, account, think

Isn't it interesting that the Greek word for consider also means "to lead" or "to go before?"  Joy should go before our trials.  It shoud be the leader in the midst of trials.  We look to leaders when we need to know where to go.  Leaders are the strength and wisdom that know the goal and how to get there even when it is hidden to those following.  Joy is to be our leader in trials.  It is the strength and wisdom we hold on to in the midst of trials.  Joy understands the end even when we can not see it.  But James makes it clear that it is not just a little joy mixed with your grief and fear, but "ALL" joy - or "PURE" joy.  There is nothing mixed with it.

Sometimes this scripture just seems too big, too unattainable, or just plain unrealistic.  Maybe that is the point.  In trials, we don't see very clearly, and James is giving the one thing that can lead us through it.  We don't have to understand but just follow and trust where a pure joy will lead us.