Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Real Deal Joy


James 1:2
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials..

There's that word again....
"Joy"...
Count it against what you are facing....
Weigh it as you go through the dark times...

Consider the reality of it in your life...
"Joy"....
You see, on the surface, this verse seems to be saying, "Whoop it up for Jesus" no matter how hard life is...
Well, I don't think that is what James is truly saying.

I like the way Pastor Rick Warren sees the concept of the Joy of the Lord:

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation."

But even in this definition, we have to understand when he says that "ultimately everything is going to be alright". Sometimes that ultimately means at death. At the moment of my death, I will know fully what I only claim to believe now. I will know completely the whole truth of who Jesus is and what He is capable of doing. On this side of heaven, it is mostly faith and holding on to what truth my mind can comprehend.

The joy of the Lord IS a knowing that God is in control of all my affairs, as well as the very breath I breathe. He is the giver of life. Does he "give" me problems and troubles? I know that most of what I face is a by product of bad choices as well as consequences for past actions. I guess the good part in facing such, is that He does not abandon me. He doesn't look down on me and my situation and say, "Well, I tried to tell you what to do, but you wouldn't listen." No, He doesn't act in such a manner. Daily He is trying to guide me along the right way, the right path, by my listening for Him and then following what I'm lead to do. Knowing that He will never, never, ever stir me wrong is part of that "Joy", that quiet confidence that can only come through trusting Him.

Yesterday was a good day...
I was reminded of God's goodness, in spite of the darkness that has covered this season of my life. In fact, God totally reminded me that just because it appears that the world has gone off its collective mind, doesn't mean that He has lost His grip on things. Such that I see is the exercise of man's sinful nature in spite of God's love and gift of eternal life to those who would believe.
So today, I rest in the knowledge (and joy) that God is God.
Such a simple statement..."God is God"...
But when it gets all down inside a person, it brings such comfort and peace....and dare I say it..
Yes, even joy.

Don't leave home without Him....
Or His peace...
Or His joy...


God on you...

mb

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