Pure Joy


Joy, joy, joy. Praise be the Lord who reigns on high.

Consider it pure joy. When? When you encounter various happy occasions? Nope. When you encounter various trials, for it is then you know your faith is being tested. Hmmm.

So I should consider an honor than I have been chosen to have my faith tested. I am certain many of us would just as soon pass. Surely God can find better ways of schooling us into maturity than trials and tests. But that’s not how we learn, is it? Were it not for the trials and tests, would we remember that our faith ought to be growing day by day? We should probably thank the Lord that He still loves me enough to test me, and that I am not a lost cause.

What I have found is that with each successful test, some new means of testing is found. When you have been found faithful in your Bible reading, you are tested in your prayer, or it might be your commitment to church, or your finances, or your marriage, especially when you think things are going great. One of your kids may suddenly have a crisis, or you find an unexpected visitor at your door, or something will come along that will test you in areas that you thought were secure, like your health. Ouch.

Even to talk about all these things could test you in another area: worry. Will you trust God to take care of the things you can’t? Would you let God do the worrying for you? Wow.

What James calls for is an attitude that anticipates God’s work in you and welcomes it. Remember, just as you are working toward maturity, God too is working in you. Consider it all joy. For it isn’t about being happy through your life, but joyful, a joy beyond circumstances.

May God bless you today!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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