Yesterday I was talking at length with a friend who is going through a very trying time. They were hoping they were at a place in life where there would be more joy and less struggle. Don’t we all. The more we talked, I remembered the verses from James that I have quoted many times.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” James 1:2 KJV
How is that possible? Be joy-full when things are coming at you hard? Be joy-full when life’s circumstances seem overwhelming? This is how those verses go on…
“My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. 3 You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. 4 But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.
5 If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.” James 1:2-5 CEV
It’s possible to be joyful and at peace in the middle of the mess when we have God’s wisdom and have confidence in Him that we will come out better on the other side. We aren’t joy-full for the problems but can certainly we overcome with joy knowing that God will never allow us to be destroyed by them but will instead walk through them with us.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with what you have. God has said,
“I will never leave you;
I will never run away from you.”
6 So we can feel sure and say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
People can do nothing to me.” Hebrews 13:5-6 ERV
Money can’t buy peace or joy, in fact pursuing it can be one of the reasons we are so exhausted and stressed out. Do you see that phrase “be satisfied with what you have”? What we have is God! He is definitely more than enough for every situation. He isn’t going anywhere. He won’t desert us or leave us to flounder alone in life.
So as I was talking to my friend, I told them they should be laughing and smiling in the face of their situation – let God have the control of it. Then after the conversation was over I remembered another verse that I had never tied together with the verses in James.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-14 KJV
Tidings of great joy! Christ was born to bring good will between God and man. Jesus came so we could see the love that God has for us lived out through His life. He certainly had difficult times, times of trial, times of trouble. He looked past that to the joy on the other side of the cross.
“We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:2 ERV
Are we going to have trials and difficulties? Yes. Do they have to deplete our reservoir of joy and peace? Certainly not!
Open your gift of joy today! I would suggest you go to the Biblegateway app and put the word joy in the search bar. God has a lot to say about joy.
Let it sink in that God will never leave, never abandon you, never desert you! Let that knowledge fill you with joy!