Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Got Joy?

Joy is defined as; rejoicing; the emotion of great happiness; to make glad or happy; to experience great pleasure or delight. The Bible says, "The joy of the LORD is your strength," (Nehemiah 8:10); "In His presences is fullness of joy," (Psalm 16:11); The LORD desires His joy to remain and be full in the believer, (John 15:11); and, one of the fruits of the Spirit is Joy (Galatians 5:22). It should be obvious that believers should experience joy at all times, even if the storms of life should come upon them.

James tells us, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)

But why should believers count it all joy when trials come? James tells us that trials try ones faith. They act as proof that the believer courageously and patiently stands on the promises of God's Word. They act as a witness that the believers faith is in Christ the Savior, Delieverer, Protector, Healer, etc. and reveal that the believer "Walks by faith and not by sight".

However, is this the way that most believers approach trials in their lives? Let's take a look at a scenario. If everything was going well, that is, there were no pressures of life distracting the believer, then of course having joy would certainly be no problem. But when something happens what do believers tend to do? Worry, fret, murmur or complain or maybe even try to figure something out in their own strength?

So let us consider, before the trial was God still LORD? Were we His children? Was His plan of salvation (rebirth, healing, deliverance, protection, provision, etc.) some how changed? How about when a trial comes. Is He still LORD? Are we still His children? Was His plan of salvation (rebirth, healing, deliverance, protection, provision, etc.) some how changed? If not then what has changed? Only a life situation or circumstance, not God, not His Word nor any of His promises.

Believe it or not, trials have a positive affect on the soul if believers exercise faith and let joy prevail. Why? Because Christ like character is formed and the believer is made whole in all parts of their lives, lacking nothing. Basically, all we are doing is following in the foot steps of Jesus...

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." (Hebrews 12:1-3)

We have joy in trials by, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our FAITH and by consider what hostility He endured for us. In doing so our trials will pale and joy will prevail. Hallelujah...

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