First of all let me point out a very interesting fact, the word "Joy" is used 255 times in the bible*. (New American Standard). Now, I don't know about you, but when something is mentioned that many times I take it to mean that it is pretty darn important-especially in the word of God.
So, here I am going through a really tough financial time and have a couple other issues really weighing me down. Am I supposed to be joyful about being broke? My car is barely running, my bathtub isn't draining; should I jump for joy? My daughter is in the Air Force and God only knows where they will send her next-should I scream YAHOO over that? YES! James 1:2-3 says.."Consider it ALL joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance". Wow, sounds pretty simple. Have you tried it lately? Well, I can tell you, it's tough, but the word also says that He would not put us through something we could not endure, and that He would not bring us this far to just leave us hanging (rough paraphrase).
Look over at 1 Peter 1:6; "In this you greatly reJOICE, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials". The Bible never said that once we accept Christ as our personal Savior that we would be walking on easy street, have perfect health, perfect families, perfect jobs, bathtubs that drain. He does want us to have an abundant life and He knows what our needs are. He created us, so He's no dummy.
The Bible says we WILL have trials and tribulation, temptations, "bad" stuff in our lives. But it's how we handle them that's important. Sometimes I want to just throw a temper tantrum when things aren't going smoothly. My son does that, does it make me anymore anxious to let him have his way? Heck no! And it doesn't solve anything, the problem is still there, magnified by my negative attitude about it.
But, if I can back up a minute and look at the situation from a "godly" perspective, I might see the reason more clearly-see what God is trying to show me, see His way to solve it and get some JOY out of the fact that I had victory over the situation and not the other way around. It's not the end of the world as I know it if my car breaks down or my bathtub doesn't drain, it's a pain in the neck, but if I can look at it rationally and clearly it takes the "trauma" out of it, and I can keep the JOY that God wants me to have. I want what HE wants for me. Take some time to smell the roses and enJOY the abundant life God has given you.
John 15:11; "These things I have spoken to you that My JOY may remain in you, and that your JOY may be full".
HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY.
Copyright 2003 Pastor Brenda Libby
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