Monday, March 30, 2020

COUNT IT ALL JOY



Question: "What does it mean to count it all joy (James 1:2)?"

Answer: 
In some English translations of the Bible, James 1:2 contains the clause count it all joy. It is the first command James gives in his epistle; to understand what he means by it, we must look at the full passage and surrounding verses: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4, ESV).

The word count is a financial term, and it means “to evaluate.” When James says to “count it all joy,” he encourages his readers to evaluate the way they look at trials. He calls believers to develop a new and improved attitude that considers trials from God’s perspective. James wants believers to know to expect “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) in the Christian life. We should be prepared and not caught off guard when a sudden trial comes upon us. Trials are part of the Christian experience. Jesus told His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).


Typically, a trial is not an occasion for joy. James isn’t suggesting that we pursue trials or court hardship; neither are we to pretend that trials are enjoyable to endure. Trials are difficult and painful. But they exist for a purpose. Trials have the potential of producing something good in us, and, for this reason, they are an opportunity for expressing joy. Knowing there is a bigger picture, we can consider trials as things to rejoice in. Even though joy is contrary to our normal reaction, James urges us to work on changing our attitude toward troubles from dread to positive expectation, faith, trust, and even joy.

James does not merely say “count it joy,” but he says “count it all joy”; that is, we can consider trials and testings as pure, unalloyed, total joy. Too often, we see trials in a negative light, or we assume that joy cannot exist in hardship; worse, we consider the hard times as God’s curse upon us or His punishment for our sin, rather than what they really are—opportunities to joyfully mature into Christlikeness.




James 1:3 explains that God intends trials to test our faith and produce spiritual perseverance. Trials are like training challenges for an athlete. They build physical endurance and stamina. The athlete looks forward to physical and mental challenges because of the benefits that follow. If we were to walk through life on easy street and never face hardship, our Christian character would remain untested and underdeveloped. Trials develop our spiritual muscles, giving us the stamina and endurance to stay the course (Romans 5:2–5). We can count it all joy in trials because in them we learn to depend on God and trust Him. Faith that is tested becomes genuine faith, rugged faith, uncompromising faith: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6–7).

God also uses trials to discipline us: “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). Trials help to purge our spiritual shortcomings and mature our faith. They promote joy because they produce holiness in the life of steadfast believers.

James encourages Christians to embrace trials not for what they presently are, but for the outcome God will accomplish through them. James 1:12 promises, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”




When Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37:1–38), he could not see the beautiful, life-saving outcome that God would accomplish through his years of suffering and perseverance in Egypt. After his ordeal with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph spent long years forgotten in prison. Eventually, God’s plan came to fruition, and Joseph was raised up to the second most powerful position over Egypt. Through many trials and tests, Joseph learned to trust God. Not only did Joseph rescue his family and the nation of Israel from starvation, but he saved all of Egypt, too.

Joseph’s faith had been tested through trials, and perseverance finished its work. After coming through the trials victoriously, Joseph understood God’s good purpose in all he had endured. Joseph was able to see God’s sovereign hand in it all. Mature and complete, Joseph spoke these words of forgiveness to his brothers: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:19–20).

James 1:4 says a believer who perseveres through trials is made “perfect.” This does not mean he or she becomes sinless or without moral failings. Perfect speaks of maturity or spiritual development. Christians who face trials with a joyful outlook—trusting God to accomplish His good purpose—will develop into full spiritual maturity. They will be equipped with everything they need to overcome every trial they encounter. That’s certainly a good reason to rejoice.

To count it all joy when we face trials, we must evaluate the difficulties in life with eyes of faith and see them in light of God’s good purpose. The translation of James 1:2–4 by J.B. Phillips aids our understanding: “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence.”


Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/count-it-all-joy.html

Thursday, February 27, 2020

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD!



Psalm 136 Theme: The never-ending story of God's Love. God deserves all our praise because His endless love never fails.

Author: Unknown

We know not by whom this psalm was written, but we do know that it was sung in Solomon's temple (2 Chronicles 7:3,6), and by the armies of King Jehoshaphat when they sang themselves into victory in the wilderness of Tekoa (2 Chronilcles 20:21-22).

Repeated throughout this psalm is the phrase: His Love Endures Forever." This psalm may have been a responsive reading, with the congregation saying these words in unison after after each sentence. This repetition made this important lesson sink in. God's love include aspects of love, kindness, mercy and faithfulness. We never have to worry that God will run out of love because it flows from a well that will never run dry.

Image result for psalm 136


Psalm 136 commences with a threefold praise to the Triune Lord (Psalm 136:1-3), then it gives us six notes of praise to the Creator (Psalm 136:4-9), six more upon deliverance from Egypt (Psalm 136:10-15), and seven upon the journey through the wilderness and the entrance into Canaan (Psalm 136:16-22). Then we have two happy verses of personal gratitude for present mercy (Psalm 136:23-24), one (Psalm 136:25) to tell of the Lord's universal providence, and a closing verse (Psalm 136:26) to excite to never ending praise.

Image result for psalm 136 banner

Source: Blue Letter Bible Text Commentaries by C.H. Spurgeon

Friday, January 31, 2020

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING QUOTABLE


THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING


"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

“Gratitude changes who we are inside and enables the Lord to shine His love through us as we touch the lives of those around us.” 

Living a life of gratitude is a choice. Life doesn’t have to be perfect in order for us to give thanks—we can choose to be grateful, regardless of our circumstances.

As a family of Believers, the presence of Jesus in our hearts should cause us to interact with one another with peace and thankfulness:

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:15-16). 





Make A Choice To Give Thanks For LIFE!!!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever" (1 Chronicles 16:34). The Scriptures tell us to "give thanks in all circumstances," but some days that's hard to do! But we know that the Spirit of Thanksgiving releases the power of God into our lives and circumstances because the "Joy of the Lord" (Nehemiah 8:10) is the inner strength to enable us to stay cool in His will as we trust His goodness and love to work all things out for His glory (Romans 8:28). Therefore, we can make a choice to give thanks always!





A Heart ❤️ of GRATITUDE Leaves No Room for COMPLAINING.

A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But a complaining soul complains even in The Promised Land (1 Corinthians 10:10-11) "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). "And do not grumble, as some of them did--and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:10-11)




CONSIDER IT PURE JOY - The Divine Gift That Sings In Our Heart ❤️ Even When Things Go Wrong 

- R.T. Kendall -

PURE JOY is an inward thing! While a smile is a great witness, it frequently camouflages what is really going on inside. God cares, and He wants us to experience "The JOY of The Lord - Our Strength" especially in time of trials and tribulations. \0/\0/\0/ "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,fn whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).





If You Lack Joy, Your Christianity Must Be Leaking Somewhere
- Billy Sunday - 

"The joy of the Lord is my strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24) - Jesus



Friday, December 27, 2019

THANKSGIVING, PRAISE & WORSHIP REVOLUTION: DAILY

Every Day I Will Praise You
And Extol Your Name
For Ever And Ever
Psalm 145:2


As we conclude year 2019 and step into the New Year 2020, what would be our thanksgiving, praise and worship to our King be like? Is it a Sunday ritual or a frenzied emotion that we can put on and take off? Is it limited to one style of music or a particular church?

God seeks those whose worship emantes from deep within. He desires legitimate praise and integrity between heart and mouth. He wants to be the One we treasure most. Most of all, He wants you. Yes all of you! If you don't have a daily time of thanksgiving, praise and worship, make one.


Let us establish genuine praise of the Father, the Son and the Spirit as a daily experience. Psalm 145 is a good place to start. It mentions the urge to praise and worship our King daily. And it is glorious in it's sweeping praise of the Lord, so there's no shortage of material in it by which our mouth can honor Him, if for some reason praise is hard to come by. Read it daily - slowly, thoughtfully, worshipfully. Don't let it become a stale routine, only a treasured habit. The exaltation of the King is always to be treasured.

Again and again in the Bible we find people thanking and praising the Lord and instructing others to do the same:

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving ... Praise the Lord! ... Praise Him, O servants of the Lord ... You who revere the Lord, Bless the Lord ... In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus ... Through Him letus continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God!

God places great importance on thanksgiving, praise and worship. Withholding thanksgiving, praise and worship is an injustice toward God. we owe Him everything, and it is only right that we give thanks to Him and ascribe to Him "the glory due to His Name." (Psalm 29:2). For these reasons and many others, thanksgiving, praise and worship is not a mere obligation. It is our greatest privilges a schildren of the living God. It should rank high in our priorities!

If you don't have a daily time of thanksgiving, praise and worship, make one. Put them even higher on your list of priorities than making prayer request to God. Let them be the springboard into your request and your study of the Word. Stop now, if you can, and give thanks, praise and worship Him for at least one of His benefits. It you have ever needed a dramatic change, daily, heartfelt thanskgiving, praise and worship will bring it about.

(an extract from Worship The King by Chris Tiegreen)

Friday, November 22, 2019

A SONG IN THE NIGHT

Behold, bless the LORD, All you servants of the LORD,
Who by night stand in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.
The LORD who made heaven and earth Bless you from Zion!
Psalm 134:1-3 (NKJV)




It is a strange time for adoration to stand in God's house by night, to worship in the depth of sorrow. It is indeed an arduous thing. Yes, and therein lies the blessing; it is the test of perfect faith. In the Bible, night often represents times of trials, testings, tribulations, persecutions ... In our modern days we would easily identify some of these"nights" as times of disappointments when friends fail us, unanswered prayers, sicknesses, lost of jobs, depressions or even bereavements ...

The Psalmist in Psalm 77:6 said
 "I Call To Remembrance My Song In The Night." 

A song in the night is always a song of faith. That is why the Bible stresses that God is a God who gives songs in the night. Songs are therapy and are like vitamins that lift the soul and give it courage to make it through the night. In Psalm 42 where there is a struggle with depression the Psalmist says in verse 8, "By day the Lord directs His love; at night His song is with me." In Job 35:1 we read of God as One "Who gives songs in the night."

Did you know that the only record that Jesus ever sing is in Matthew 26:30 and it was at night in a very stressful situation. Jesus is about to earn His title as the Man of sorrows acquainted with grief. He was heading for the worst and the last night of His life before the cross. The agony of Gethsemane, the anguish of His betrayal, arrest, and illegal condemnation was His agenda for the night, and He knew it. Yet He joins His disciples in a song. A heart filled with song is better prepared to face sorrow. The thing we need to see here is that Jesus lived as a real life on our level. Real life is like that, and Jesus is singing with His disciples now, and in a matter of minutes he will be facing the cross! The other record about people singing in the New Testament is Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25. We read, "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God." They were in the Philippian's jail and fastened in stocks. Not the best position for singing, nor the best atmosphere, but there they were praising God in song!

As Lifestyle Worshipers there are times we will walk through the "desert places" or "valley of the shadow of death". These are times God will give us a song in the night but we must make a choice to sing - to offer Sacrifice of Praise. A song in the night is always a song of faith that night is sure to give way to the light.
Personally the Lord has given me songs in the night like "As A Deer"- Martin Nystrom, "Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord" - Matt Redman ... and many more ... these songs are now more than my favourite songs, nice lyrics or good feels but they are songs that have become personally mine given by the Holy Spirit that have come out of the fiery trials!

Are you in the "fiery furnace" or in the "Lions' den" or in "the valley of the shadow of death"? Let's join the Levites (worshipers) in Psalm 134:1-3 to sing:

Behold, bless the LORD, All you servants of the LORD,
Who by night stand in the house of the LORD!
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.
The LORD who made heaven and earth Bless you from Zion!

Have A Blessed & Victorious Week! - TPWC

Thursday, October 31, 2019

GREAT IS THE LORD & MOST WORTHY OF PRAISE




GREAT IS THE LORD
AND MOST WORTHY OF PRAISE
1 Chronicles 16:25
 
God is not just WORTHY of praise, He is MOST WORTHY of praise. In other words, whatever praise we can give Him, He deserves it. We cannot overestimate His worth because He is worth more than anything.

Think of how that applies to our lives. We might wonder if it's worth giving up possession or a habit for Him, but if He's worth more than anything, the answer is clear. We might consider giving up our career or our ambitions for Him, and we wonder if it will be a worthwhile gift. But if He's worth more than we can imagine, it is. We may wonder if our praise, worship, and sacrifice will be worth the payoff to us, but we're asking the wrong question. Whether it's worth it to us is not the point; He's worthy of it. That's all that matters.

There is no greater investment than God. Whatever we can give to Him, pour out of our hearts to Him, lay down before Him, and do for Him, it's a profoundly worthwhile offering because it is directed toward a profoundly WORTHY GOD. No gift is lost on Him. No sacrifice for Him is ever considered unimportant in His eyes.

Consider what you have to offer Him. Your obedience? It is never about earning His favour; it's about offering your best. Your purity? It isn't because He's a Joy-Giver but because He wants you for Himself - and He deserves you. Your possessions? They are meaningless trinkets in His eyes, and He wishes you could loose your grip on them. Your time? You have an eternity before you; there's no need to spend time on yourself. Your talents? He gave them to you so that you could worship Him in ways no one else can. Your relationships? The God of relationships wants to demonstrate His peace and His love in them.




What are you holding on to? Lay it down. Give it to Him. It's right to do so. He's worthy of whatever you have.
(Extract from - Worship The King by Chris Tiegreen)
 "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" - Revelation 5:12

Monday, September 23, 2019

PRAISE REVOLUTION - CHOICE

I Will Bless The Lord At All Times
His Praise Shall Always Be In My Mouth
Psalm 34:1
CHOICEEveryone of them, in a sense is a test. Why? Because they reveal our desires. As worshipers, our choices have profound spiritual results: often our taste for obedience is exposed and our deepest loves come to the surface in the choices we make.
What would happen if we decided to let every thought and every breath BLESS GOD? Imagine the result if His name were affectionately on our lips as we lay down at night, as we turned over in our sleep, as we awoke in the morning and as we went about our daily business. Would such a perspective radically change our hearts? Probably. Would it change our world? It's likely. Anytime (both good or bad times) in the Bible someone gives himself to WORSHIP, God does amazing things through that person. BLESSINGS abound. God's work is done. He is honored.

What prevents us from such a pervasive sense of His worth? Are our schedules just too busy? Or is it deeper than that? Perhaps it's a suspicion that He hasn't been as good to us as SCRIPTURE declares that He is. Or maybe it's a subtle resentment that He has not paved our path with gold and has allowed us to taste the bitter trials of life.

Whatever reasons we can come up with, we should ask ourselves if a WORSHIP-FILLED HEART is worth sacrificing to the gods of busyness, apathy, and dissapointmnet. If we really got a glimpse of God, we would never be too busy, we would never be too apathetic; and we would never be dissapointed with His will for us. We would understand that underlying everything we go through and everything responsibility we're given is the LOVING HAND OF GOD who is leading us closer to Him. The end result is a greater blessing than any earthbound human can possibly imagine.

WHAT WERE KING DAVID'S REASONS FOR MAKING HIS CHOICE TO BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES?
May the reading of Psalm 34 enlightens us:
1) He will deliver us from fear (Psalm 34:4)
2) He will save us out of our troubles (Psalm 34:6)
3) He will guard and deliver us (Psalm 34:9)
4) He will listen when we talk to Him (Psaml 34:15)
5) He will redeem us (Psalm 34:22)
But we must do our part. we can appropriate His blessings when we:
6) Seek Him (Psalm 34:4 & 10)
7) Cry out to Him (Psalm 34:6 & 17)
8) Trust Him (Psalm 34;8)
9) Fear Him (Psalm 34:7 & 9)
10) Refrain from lying (Psalm 34:13)
11) Turn from evil to do good and seek peace (Psalm 34:14)
12) Serve Him (Psalm 34:22)

We usually find it easy to PRAISE God in good times, when everything seems to be going our ways, but hard to boast in the Lord when our circumstances are difficult.We can see in king David's life as a passionate WORSHIPER is not always smooth ... in context, Psalm 34 reveals that king David was prepared to PRAISE God even when he was in fear for his life, had gone down to Gath where he had been forced to play the part of a madman (1 Samuel 21:10-15). Therefore, Psalm 34 was king David's testimony of God's goodness inviting others to BLESS, to BOAST, to MAGNIFY, to EXTOL and to EXALT THE LORD .... AT ALL TIMES!


Let us revolutionize our PRAISE. Make that CHOICE to BLESS the LORD AT ALL TIMES!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 8) - BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING (II)


Beware Of Anxiety. Next To Sin,
There Is Nothing That So Troubles
Our Mind, Strains The Heart,
Distresses The Soul,
And Confuse The Judgement
- William Ullathorne

As worshipers, what will cripple us from doing God’s will and enjoying His presence? What will rob us of the joy of the LordANXIETY! ANXIETY! ANXIETY!
Why is Paul so concerned with our level of anxiety? Because :
1) Proverbs 12:25 tells us that “An anxious heart weighs a man down.”
2) Isaiah 61:3 equate this as "the spirit of heaviness"
3) Psalm 139:23 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughtsSee if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting." It's a little disturbing to us that king David equates anxious thoughts with an "offensive way" (verse 24) in this Psalm.



In what way can our anxiety be awfully offensive?
- When we harbour anxious thoughts, we are saying that the One who has promised to take care of our future (Jeremiah 29:11) might not do a good job of it.
- It says that the One who has promised to walk us through the waters and not allow the fire to burn us (Isaiah 43:2) might abandon us to the waters and the fire.
- And it says that His presence in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4) might not be enough to calm us
(an extract from Worship The King & Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)

What is the solution to our anxiety? We learned from last week's post that the answers are found in Philippians 4:6-7. That we “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” When our prayers and petitions are mingled with THANKSGIVING, we are opening our hearts (guarding your hearts - Proverbs 4:23) to His presence. Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates (opening your heart) with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE; give THANKS to Him and PRAISE His name.” Instead of occupying our thoughts with the spirit of anxiety, we “PUT ON THE GARMENT OF PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness (heavy, burdened, failing spirit)” - Isaiah 61:3

Jesus taught us, " ... do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." - verse 34 (Matthew 6: 25-34 in context)
Imagine a son lying awake at night wondering if his parents are going to feed him tomorrow. Or a daughter wondering if she will have something to clothe herself in. That might happen in some homes, but what does it say of the parents? Nothing complimentary.

As worshipers of God we cannot praise Him with such insecurities. Our anxieties are forms ofanti-worship - a clear declaration that our God might not have promised us enough or might not be able to follow through on what He has promised. Yes, He may let us go through hard things, but never ourside of His timing or beyond His protection. So worship Him. And don't worry about tomorrow!
Mega-Blessings \0/\0/\0/ 
TPWC

Friday, July 19, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 7) - BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING (I)


PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
Pray, Give Thanks And Let God Worry - Martin Luther
Philippians 4:6 is one of the most straightforward commands in Scripture, but one of the hardest to fulfill. Yet if we believe in the inspiration of Scripture, the originator of this verse is none other than the Holy Spirit.
How can God expect us to be anxiety free? He must have a reason. He wouldn’t tell us to do something that’s impossible to do. No, the rationale for this imperative comes in the words that follow. The reason we can be anxious for nothing is that our prayers, petitions, and requests can be given over to God in the spirit of GRATITUDE. Prayer with thanksgiving gives us rock-solid assurance that our anxieties are unfounded.


It is possible for a worshiper who is practicing the presence of God daily to be able to manage all his fears, anxieties and stresses. How is this possible? The answer is found in the presence of God. When you are in the presence of God, there is JOY and “The Joy of the Lord is your strength”! That is why Paul is able to give us a command in Philippians 4:4 to “REJOICE in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!” In fact a worshiper who is practicing the presence of God will be able to stay calmed in any situations because “the Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). And the result is having "the peace of God" (Philippians 4:7) in midst of all circumstances.


Can I challenge you further on the spirit of thankfulness, gratitude and rejoicing?


1) Colossians 3:15-17"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."Be thankful - that is not a suggestion; it is a command. In all that we do we need to be guided by two principles: doing it "in the name of the Lord Jesus" and "giving thanks to God through Him"


2) Ephesians 5:19
"... speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."When you are full of the Holy Spirit you will continually give God thanks. In fact, you can measure the fullness of the Spirit within you partly by the spirit of a thankful heart. When you cease to do so, it is one sure indication you are beginning to leak out


3) 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"... in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."What is the will of God in Christ Jesus? To give thanks in everything. So if you are not giving thanks, as we have already seen, you are actually out of the will of God.


GRATITUDE is an attitude that if it isn't flowing naturally now, should be cultivated zealously. Practice it often, and it will soon become as natural as breathing.

Have a joyous and victorious week!
TPWC

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

THE SPIRIT OF THANKSGIVING (PART 6) - PURE JOY

Consider It Pure Joy, My Brother,
Whenever You Face Trials Of Many Kinds
James 1:2
We have been talking about being "Anxious For Nothing" in our last three posts. We also challenged you that we can indeed overcome the spirit of anxieties, worries and stresses by choosing to release the spirit of joy, rejoicing and thanksgiving. But what if we are in the midst of trials and testings? For most of us to consider these situations a matter of joy is another issue altogether.

As worshipers, how can we consider the trials of life pure joy? Only those who see the surprising benefit in them. Through the lens of Scripture, we can see that benefit. We are told that our trials develop our character in ways that would produce eternal profit for us; and we are told that the God who allows them always has our welfare in mind. These are things that unbelieving world cannot see, but they have been revealed to those who will believe.

There many examples in the Bible of believers practicing this "irrational act of joy" in the midst of trials:

1) Acts 5:41 - the apostles who were arrested for preaching Jesus left the court of the Sanhedrin "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name".

2) Acts 16:25 - Paul and Silas sang praises to God from the depths of a filthy Philippian prison

3) 2 Corinthians 8:2 - Paul praised the Macedonian churches for their generosity in giving while in the midst of "severe trials, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty ..."

4) 2 Corinthians 12:10 - Paul delights in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

5) James 1:2 - James points to the benefit our trials have for our own character.

6) Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:11 that we are blessed "when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me". In fact Jesus also tells us to "rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven ..." (Matthew 5:12)

Are you going through difficult times? Don't despair. Discouragement and depression are not the Biblical responses, only the natural ones. But we live above the natural. We know the end result of our pain. Perseverence results in maturity, and problems give Jesus a stage to show His resurrection power (Philippians 3:10). There is no greater blessing than that. 
Make a choice: Consider It Pure Joy!
#Pure Joy #Count It All Joy #The Joy of the Lord #Rejoice In The Lord
(an extract from: Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)