I have had the following scripture on my mind lately and I have to tell you it has been extremely hard to grasp at the present time:
James 1:2-4: Trials and Temptations
2. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3. because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I have set down with a couple of friends who are going through some tough times in different ways and asked them. “How do you see Joy in what you are going through?” Here was an awesome response from one of them: “I can go to bed with tears – but in the morning comes Joy once more.” His perspective of getting up in the morning and starting it with Joy – what does that look like… For each of us it will be something different – but we must find out what it is and start each morning that way. I have to let you know that I recently had coffee with him – and there is this passion that I have seen in him from that past – and it is back again.
The other friend I sat down with and asked him the same question came up with an Awesome answer also. The Joy we search for in a worldly sense is not the Joy we should be looking for. We must be looking for the Joy that only comes from Jesus Christ and the eternal life we will spend with him someday. He is correct – during those tuff times we should be looking at Christ and then we can look at the verse above and see if we are really experiencing what was meant for us for good.
One of my daily devotions that I have on my computer at work has helped me through some of those tough times that I have been experiencing.
“I AM able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to Me with a positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish. Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark. The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see My Power and Glory at work in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.”
So please re-read the scripture above and remember what is meant for you to experience and why as you go through those tough times.
Bobbyg Leigh and Brandon – thanks for the wisdom you shared with me.