Tag Archives: joy

Week # 19 James 1: 2-3

James 1: 2-3

“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.”

Life + Trials = Pure Joy

How does that add up?  According to the world we live in it doesn’t.  Why would the writer of James even think to suggest pure joy as our response to facing trials that test our faith?  If you have time to read James 1:1-27 you will discover that James recognizes the benefit of the different trials in our life as a way of producing God focused perseverance that will achieve three things; mature us in our faith, make us complete in Christ, and  receivers of the crown of life prepared for those who love the Lord.  Our challenges in life have kingdom purpose even when we can’t see clearly while in the  testing of our faith.  Let’s not miss out on the benefits found in persevering through faith in Christ.

Would you agree that life is full of many kinds of trials?  You might be in the middle of one right now and thinking to yourself this concept is crazy.  I’m supposed to be joyful in this!  You don’t know what is going on in my life…..God can’t really expect me to be joyful!   Your right I don’t know what you are experiencing and I pray that you will find peace and joy in the Lord as we continue to explore this counter-culture call to seek after pure joy even in our storms.

What does it look like to either face a storm that is brewing or walk through a storm with pure joy?  I have a dear friend who I have had the privilege of watching and at times walking with her through a hurricane of life’s trials with her children.  I compare it to a hurricane because the intensity would change based on the winds and how close or far away she was from the eye of the storm.  When I first met her I was drawn to her warm smile and fun and relaxed attitude toward life.  There wasn’t any immediate outward appearance of distress.  She was joyful.  When I became aware of the intensity of her trials with her children I was taken off guard.  It was evident that the Lord was her strength and peace as she weathered the hurricane that was trying to destroy her family.  This storm hit land fall when one of her children began making a few bad choices in friends then it led down a path of disappearances, destruction of property, detention centers, and the waves and storm surge created from those events crashed down on the relationships within the family.   Just as she was able to get up to assess the damages from one wave the next child started  down their own destructive path.  As the storm howled and beat on her family she fought to subdue the storm of emotions within her own heart.  Why God? What did I do?  How did I fail?  Why won’t they stop?  Where are you God?  I should have……  Why didn’t I…….  How can I go on…..  Her only peace was found in her quiet time with the Lord and it was there that she found her pure joy in him that strengthens her as her storm rages on.  Her joyful verse is Nehemiah 8:10b “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

My dear friend has been an inspiration to me to choose the pure joy of Christ to strengthen me and sustain me through my own trials in life.  She continues to preserver through what feels like a never-ending storm.  Her faith and trust in the Lord keep her anchored.  Her joy encourages others to trust and builds their faith and their love for the Lord.  She has defiantly kept her lamp lit and shinning brightly through her storm.  I’m so thankful for her light shining into my life and leading me to the strength of the Lord.

Many times the trials of life leave us feeling alone and in the dark.  When that happens we can turn the light on and strengthen our faith by remembering to turn to the truth of God’s word for encouragement.  Psalm 119: 105 reminds us that the word of the Lord is a lamp that shines on our path as we walk with the Lord through life.  So if we choose to keep our eyes on how big and faithful the Lord is then our circumstances will return to their proper perspective, small in the hands of God.  We are then able to consider life and it’s challenges through the lens of pure joy.  Don’t let your light burn out stay connected to the light of the world and our faith builder, Christ, and preserver as you shine brightly for him.  Does this mean we will be beaming with a smile all the time as we weather our storms?  No, it means that we can remain steady in the storm, anchored in our hope, able to trust we are secure in our heavenly Father’s care and able to be real with those who genuinely seek to come along side us.  When we are steady in our relationship with Christ it shines through when we find it hard to smile.

Even in the storms of life a rainbow can emerge if  His light is shining through the rain or the tears.  Keep a look out for His rainbows in your life!

Life + Trials = Pure Joy~ Make it true in your life!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy

Welcome to the third post in the ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy—

What comes to mind when you hear “Outrageous Joy”? Is it a loud memory or a quiet gentle one?   Is it a memory of a time experienced with others or a personal moment? I have experienced joy in so many ways it is hard explain the source of my joy at times. Especially when tears accompany it. This week let’s take a moment to reflect on the “outrageous joy” that Mary carried within her as the mother of our Savior. She gives a brief glimpse of it in her song found in Luke 1: 46-56. I wonder what it was like for her knowing she was blessed to carry the Savior of the world but unable to share her miraculous experience outside of a very small circle of relatives for fear of ridicule and a possible sentence of death.  Her life was marked by suffering, persecution, separation, and danger.  She experienced brief highlights of honor, acceptance, delight, and peace which she pondered and treasured in her heart.  What gave her the strength to continue?  I suggest that, like Jesus, she endured all the circumstances of her life for the joy set before her (Hebrews 12:2:3)–  the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah and the message given by the angel, Gabriel.  Her strength was born out of the presence of the Holy Spirit that released the power to create Jesus, God made man, and burst forth as “outrageous joy” that would sustain her and point her time and time again to “the joy set before her”.  That same Holy Spirit that sustained Mary and Jesus while they walked the earth is alive in us.  So no matter what we are facing now or in the future we need to tap into the strength of the “Outrageous Joy” only He can provide.  I hope you will experience the “Outrageous Joy” of Christ this Christmas!

May I suggest starting with this Chris Tomlin song “Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy)”?  I personally think Mary’s joy is expressed well by the chorus lyrics—- “Joy, unspeakable joy. An overflowing well, no tongue can tell. Joy, unspeakable joy. Rises in my soul, never lets me go.” (check out the whole song on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3SwhJsLqU&sns=em ) Be careful I have had this chorus in my head for about two weeks now it is very catchy!!!

 

As you read the joyful Psalm below reflect on the birth of our Savior and the “outrageous joy” His birth brought into our world for us each to experience.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

(bold added)

How will you keep his “outrageous joy” alive in your heart this week and all yearlong?

 

Who can you tell about the “outrageous joy” of Christ’s birth?

 

Leave a comment to let me know what brings you “outrageous joy”!

 

Prayer of Adoration:   We come to you, Lord, with thanksgiving in our hearts  and your “unspeakable joy” in our souls for all the ways that you love us.  Your expression of love is deep and never ending.   Your outrageous gift of salvation through your Son our Savior leaves us in awe of you.   We ask that you the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in you so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit(Romans 15:13).  We love you, Lord, even though we have not seen you.  We believe in you and know that you are the one who fills us with an inexpressible and glorious joy-— the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls(1Peter 1: 8-9).  Just as you filled Mary’s heart and soul with “unspeakable joy” as she carried our Savior and released Him for your glory.  May you be glorified this Christmas season as we seek to live joyful lives in reflection of your gift of eternal life!  Please strengthen us  as we fix our eyes on you, Jesus, and run the race you have set before us.  We want to live like you did enduring the things of this life for the joy set before us.  Help us to not grow weary and lose heart(Hebrews 12: 1-3) but to consider it all joy that we will be made complete in you.(James 1:2-8)

In your holy name, Jesus– Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

 

 

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