Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Joy In The Midst Of Trials!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds. - James 1:2

I've had a hard time working through my emotions surrounding the events that occurred just over 24 hours ago.  How can I find joy in the midst of my sister and my 10 year old nephew walking through such horrible and unspeakable pain?  

I certainly am not going to walk up to my sister today and to tell her to consider it JOY that the man she loves is dead over a dispute with a neighbor about a dog.  I worry about what's to come for her and Joshy.  I worry about what this event will do to her.  Will she choose to use it to make her stronger or will this destroy her fragile heart?  The truth is I feel inadequate to comfort someone walking through something I so totally cannot relate to.  How do I offer her hope and remind her of joy when all she wants to do is sleep?  Where is the joy in the midst of the tragedy?

Then during my quiet time this morning I was reading a devotional from Lysa Turkeurst.  Here is what she has to say about James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trails of many kinds.

This verse can be hard to swallow.  When tears are plentiful and answers are few, it's hard to be joyful.  In the midst of this kind of pain it can make us feel vulnerable, incapable, and insecure.  NOT JOYFUL.  I find it hard to "consider it pure joy."  

However, one reason the phrase "consider it" starts off this teaching in James is because we will probably not feel it.  In the midst of a trial, we will probably not feel joy, the hope, or the encouragement tucked within this verse--we have to consider it.

We have to consider it because we will not feel joyful in the moment.  We may feel hopeless and lost.  Our feelings might be a true indicator or what we are facing, but they don't need to dictate our decisions.  

We have to consider it and park our minds on the truth that our triumph in this trial matters.  Why?  

"So that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything".-- James 1:4

I am so thankful that when I am lost on my own I am found in HIM.  I am so thankful for the gift of God's word.  It's the lighthouse in the storm.  

I choose JOY this morning that God is in control.  

I choose JOY this morning for the gift of redemption.  

I choose JOY this morning that our hope is not in this world, but the one to come.  


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