"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:2 - 4
When our pastor first started at our church, he made a statement that has stuck with me. He said, "I will never tell you something God is calling you to do without also giving you an explanation of HOW to do it." As a Bible study teacher/leader, I have adopted that mindset as well. So, today, we get to the HOW ...
First, a quick recap of what we've already discussed.
* Finding joy in our trials is both a command and a choice. God directs us to "count it all joy" but He does not demand that from us. It is our loving choice to obey.
* "The trying of our faith" comes in two forms: tests of fire (external) and trials of faith (internal).
* We must cooperate with God's work in our lives and seek completion of His plan for us.
Now, on to the burning question ... "HOW is this accomplished?"
I have two simple answers to that question. Actually, there is one answer with two parts. We accomplish this joy in all circumstances through our minds and our faith.
Mind: Choosing joy is not an emotion-based decision. It is a conscious choice of will. We cannot base our determination on how we feel or what we want in the moment. JOY is based entirely on our understanding of and belief in God's faithfulness to us and His good plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).
Faith: We must make the choice to see the hand of God in all of life. Rather than coincidence, fate, or karma, as believers we must acknowledge that Sovereign God has allowed all things and is continually working all things together for the good of those who love Him.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Joy ... a noble pursuit but so much more than that.
Joy is expected of believers ... joy that transcends circumstance and feeling.
Joy that comes only from Him.
Will you pursue the joy found only in Christ?
Joy The Great Choice by Teri Lynne
Joy The Profound Growth by Teri Lynne
Teri Lynne is an avid lover of books, constant drinker of strong coffee (with lots of sugar and creamer), and passionate follower of Christ. Married to Scott since 1996 and mother of Casiday since 2000, Teri Lynne, in her words, is living her own happily ever after ... mostly. Writing and teaching women to live empowered, confident lives in Christ and HIS strength is a dream come true for her. You can find her musings almost daily at "Pleasing to You" where she encourages, challenges and inspires others to pursue lives that are pleasing to God.