Monday, February 12, 2018

All Joy

“Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials...” James 1:2

Joy? Trials? The two words do not go well together at all! Joy is what we have in our heart when all is going well, no one is sick, no one is depressed, no one is undergoing financial difficulties, no one is having a hard time teaching a child with dyslexia, no one is crying because a father deserted the family... In other words, joy would be impossible in the midst of this world full of troubles! And yes, Jesus did warn we will have troubles (John 16:33) It’s inevitable! 

So why does James write, “Count it pure unadulterated joy when you are enveloped in trials of any sort. Be assured and understand that the trial brings out endurance, steadfastness, patience and perseverance. Let endurance and steadfastness have its perfect result, that you may be perfect, mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”

In the first place, my definition of joy was incorrect. Joy in the absence of suffering is not what James was talking about. I don’t think God put us on this earth to enjoy ourselves, to satiate ourselves with pleasure. We have to see ourselves as athletes running the race to the finish line. God is our coach and He puts us through our paces so that we will be victorious in the end. 

I like the story of a little boy with a basket following his dad in a supermarket. The dad picks stuff off the shelf and puts it in the basket. As the contents of the basket grows, an old lady asks the little boy, “Isn’t your basket heavy?”, and the boy answers, “My dad knows exactly how much I can carry.”

Trust. Confidence. We can only have joy beyond understanding if we know our Father loves us, has a plan for us, and knows exactly what we can carry! 

1 comment:

I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy