Saturday, February 2, 2019

There is Joy

James 1:2-4
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.

I was helping my grandson, Zeke, with his weekly vocabulary words. I enjoy helping the kids with homework. Watching their young minds work fascinates me. One of the words he needed to know was glee. Not a common word in the third grade. He had to tell me the meaning, a synonym, and an antonym. Can you guess the synonym? JOY! The antonym ? Sorrow, suffering. As we worked, my mind returned to the word glee and how I prayed that joy would fill this young man's heart. But as I well know, his life will also meet with sorrow and suffering. It's not possible to live on this earth and not feel the effects of sadness. But the beautiful thing, the best thing is that through the sorrow and suffering, Jesus offers joy.

James, the brother of Jesus, says to count it all joy when we go through trials. James should know, he watched his brother, Jesus, die a cruel death. But he also knows that Jesus came back to life to bring grace and forgiveness. Even as I walk through the valley of sorrow, my heart holds joy knowing Jesus lives for me. I love what James says in the later part of the verses. " Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete..." That's what growing in Christ is all about; letting the Holy Spirit help us work through the difficult times so we come out on the other side a stronger more mature person in Christ.
There is joy in the journey. Let it be Jesus' joy.

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