Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh Joy!

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

What brings joy? "The joy of the Lord is your strength" says Nehemiah 8:10.

In the Old Testament, Joy came about through great victories, by bringing the ark of the covenant back home, bearing a child, coronating a king, national repentance, righteousness, dedication of the temple, relief from suffering, worship and quite a few other things.

The New Testament adds several joy givers to the list. However, James gives us a new and strange reason to be joyful, falling into various temptations. What? Psalms says that weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning. But James says to consider it a joyful thing while the night of weeping is still upon you.

Verse 3 tells us why joy is called for before the relief comes. Trials make us better. They temper our mettle, they cause us to rely on God's grace and draw near to Him in prayer. Remember, God never does things to us, He always does things for us! So we are to have joy in the midst of the storm anticipating the great blessings that will result from enduring the storm.

Next time trouble arises in your life, don’t despair, take heart in knowing that God can make this trial a blessing which will strengthen your faith, work patience in you, draw you close to the Savior's side and make you a better Christian.

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