Count It Joy
Verse 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Today we continue the theme we started yesterday about how we can have joy even when we have troubles.
Joy seems like such a common word and yet to experience it isn’t as common. This joy isn’t just a sense of happiness that we feel when things are going our way. Just as the peace we were talking about last week, this joy can be in our life even as we find ourselves in the trials of life. This joy is a choice. But it isn’t a choice without purpose.
Take a quick mental walk through Jesus’ life. How many happy moments are recorded? We don’t hear about as many happy circumstances in His life as we read about the struggles He had. Could it be that this was because He wanted us to know He understood what it means to go through struggles in life? It says in Hebrews 4:15, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.” It is so easy when trials come into our lives to turn to fury and bitterness. But is that how Jesus responded to the issues He faced? If it had been, His sacrifice would mean nothing.
Our passage today was written by Jesus’ half-brother, James. This younger brother had known Jesus all his life. He had seen his brother deal with things in parts of Jesus’ life that we are not privy to as they aren’t recorded. He knew Jesus didn’t live a worry-free life and so we wouldn’t either. And so James gives us the reason that trials in the Christian life can be so beneficial and therefore tells us to change our view of joy into something that must be chosen during the troubles of life.
Trials can teach us endurance and endurance produces maturity in us. It is important to see how these traits are necessary for the Church. The Church will always be at odds with the world. And the world will always bring trials on the Church. But God has good in mind for us. When we choose joy in the midst of our trials and learn endurance, we mature, becoming more and more like Jesus. Becoming more and more a light in this dark world. You may say, “Well, you just don’t know the troubles I have.” You’re right. But Jesus does. And He chose joy.
Making It Personal
What trials in life do you find hardest? What would happen if you chose to face them with joy? Can you choose joy today?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think it was like for James being Jesus’ brother? Have you ever tried to be happy when things weren’t going your way? What do you think the word endurance means?
Father, thank You for showing us why it is important to choose joy as we are going through trials in life. We know trials are the way we grow and we want to grow to be more like Jesus; please help us grow. In Jesus’ name, amen.