“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4)
Until recently, I have failed to understand the true definition of Biblical joy of which this passage speaks. My entire life I searched for joy in my emotions and circumstances. It was an allusive ghost I chased through the streets of my situations. I could only see shadows of the reflection of joy and, could never seem to catch it. I even prayed for those I love to experience joy in their lives. I have been so blessed to understand the true definition which makes this beautiful passage ring more truth in my heart and in my faith.
‘Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things’ Choose Joy – Because Happiness isn’t Enough, Kay Warren. Joy was never meant to be based on our circumstances, rather it is an overflow of our faith. Happiness is an emotion we feel resulting from an experience wherein the event has the feet. Joy is a developed grace of the Spirit, giving us the ability to walk out our faith in tough and challenging circumstances. I love the way my commentary describes what James is really stating. ‘Don’t rebel! Don’t faint! Rejoice! These problems are not enemies, bent on destroying you. They are friends which have come to aid you to develop Christian character’ Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 2218.
I am blessed to know while happiness is a temporary and fleeting stop on the road to Heaven, joy has the ability to permanently steady our walk of faith no matter what we must endure. Happiness fails to have the feet to consistently make the journey, but joy can be your traveling companion from now to eternity.