Friday, November 4, 2016

Joy...What does it mean?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Count it all joy… James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

What does it mean to “count it all joy?”

To respond to difficulties with joy seems absurd. James knows this, and so in verse 3 he offers his answer to our natural question: Why should we rejoice in the face of trials? He doesn’t say if you face trials, but whenever you face them. He assumes that we will have trains and that it is possible to profit from them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook (“consider it pure joy”) because of what trials can produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach use perseverance.

Trials have a purifying quality; they are the arena in which and the process through which something good develops. Trials can have this effect as a result of the means of “testing”. The root of this word means “approved character,” so we can see the close link between the testing and its intended result.

We cannot really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It’s easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but we can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. 

Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask Him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient, God will not leave you alone with your problems, He will stay close and He will help you grow.

You are blessed and be a blessing!

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