Saturday, July 10, 2010


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!
(an extract from: Walk With God Devotional by Chris Tiegreen)
May this old song from the musical - The Apostle (1975) be an encouragement to you:

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength!


Albert P. Caldwell (USA) said...

Great post and Song. Thank You.

Grace Tan (Australia) said...

well said :) We should feel privileged that our Heavenly Father sees us fit to undergo trials!