Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 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 NIV
Consider it pure joy? Really? I just want to be like a rebellious child and shout, “No!” I obviously have some maturing to do.
I don’t like trials. Who does? I don’t like trials, pain, and hurt for myself or for anyone I love. But James speaks to the facts of living in a fallen world.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus (John 16:33)
There’s nothing more beautiful in this world than the pure joy that children experience. As time goes on and more of this world is experienced, the easier it is to lose that sense of pure joy. There’s a difference between joy and happiness, but that’s a whole other conversation for another day. I knew this morning that I was supposed to focus on joy and write about joy when my friend sent me a picture of her devotion this morning. I sent a picture of mine back to her.
Joy was the word and then I saw a vision and heard the words “like a child”. The vision is one I used to have often when praying. I had forgotten. I could have fallen down. I literally had to hang on to stay on my feet. It’s a vision that I also feel. It’s me on my Father’s lap being held and rocked as a child. It’s me, full grown me, but it’s the image of a Father and child. No matter what trials we face in this world, we have a heavenly father who loves us and wants to comfort us. We just have to climb into his lap and LET him.
Sometimes the trial isn’t our own, but someone we love. It’s not my first-hand trial, and it’s not my story to tell, and I’m certainly not happy about it. Even though I want to shout, “NO,” I will keep reminding myself that the Joy of the Lord is my strength.
Enjoy some pure grandchild joy…
This almost feels like it should be separate blog, but the image at the beginning with the flower and the word “perseverance” has its own story. Again, the whole thing is not mine to tell, but I was given that image and message for a couple of women who were experiencing their father’s illness and decline. I felt led to make that and send it to them telling them I don’t know if that word has any particular significance, but I felt led to send it. It’s a word that kept whispering in my spirit. It was for them, but now I realize it’s also for me.
I knew when I sat down to write this morning, that I had to use the verse about considering it all joy, but I was unsure of the reference and wanted to get it right. When I looked it up, it was the NKJV that first came up. I switched it over to the NIV (which is the translation I grew up with), and there it was: perseverance.
Two words: Joy & Perseverance
I hear you, Lord.