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
I encountered this verse in one of my earlier jobs as a youth pastor. I often got frustrated because the Pastor would misquote the verse to me. He would say, “Greg, the bible says that you will face difficulties of many kinds.” He would not add more nor less to the statement. It reminded me of Winnie the Pooh’s friend Eeyore who expected glum and doom in every situation.
I know what you are thinking, I am an eternal optimist and my friend viewed life as a pessimist. If he had a glass, it had a hole in it and it stayed half empty, while mine was constantly being filled to overflowing. But there was more which bothered me than trying to be positive. That was not my goal.
My response to my friend was to quote the whole verse, not to deny we would experience bad problems. I would say, “Actually James says, Consider IT PURE JOY, when you encounter problems, because there is a purpose behind the problems to produce maturity in our character..
Consider it pure joy…
- Doesn’t mean you deny the severity or the reality that real problems exist.
- Doesn’t mean you are to fake your joy with a silly happiness
- Doesn’t mean this comes easily
- Doesn’t mean others will understand your response to the weightiness of the situation
Consider it pure joy…
- Means you are free to invite the Holy Spirit to help in your time of trouble
- Means you remember Jesus walks through EVERY valley with you
- Means God is working out His plan in the bad experience of your life for His good pleasure. The problem is bad, but God will lead to His purposes in your life.
- Means we have a choice in how to respond. You are not stuck without choices. You can choose to follow the acquisition of joy in difficult situations.
On this Monday Mantra may you be blessed to include joy in your journey. God doesn’t want the bad things to happen, but He navigates His presence with you in all circumstances.
Choose joy. Receive joy. Ask for more joy. Make a statement to position yourself as joyful. Contemplate what a joyful response may look like in your present situation. Align your words to the “consider it pure joy” column of words you choose to use when talking about your problem. Hint: complaining and whining rarely lead to the “joy column”.
May God give you a spirit of revelation to see how His joy can be present in your life throughout the good and bad times. God loves you the same in both situations. Walk in the blessing of joy He offers.
Blessings Love y’all