I have to be honest and say it’s been a little more difficult the last few weeks for some reason. I’m struggling to be thankful in all things, to choose to be joyful. I’m not looking for the reason why, I just want God to heal me completely. While in the process of Him doing that I am trying to honor and glorify Him in all things, which at times is easier than others.
So, what does God do? He gives me a verse to encourage me. While doing my devotions I read James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” My devotions was entitled “What happens when you choose joy”
Like the first century followers of Jesus, we have to be taught that trials are what God uses to develop our endurance. Unless we've been told how God works, our response to trials is likely to be anything but JOY. Trials …troubles, or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy and happiness in someone’s life. And I am supposed to choose JOY? It doesn't come naturally. Knowing and doing are two different things. Knowing what God can do with trials isn't the same thing as doing life with that knowledge. It’s our privilege to respond to God’s work through the testing of that trial by choosing joy.
There are so many things we can choose, anger, discouragement, bitterness and or sadness. But JOY is a much better choice! Not JOY for the trial but for what the trial will accomplish in deepening my faith in God. All of these feelings will produce endurance but I desire the endurance that will deepen my faith with my Heavenly Father.
So “I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Phillippians 3:14 I’m praying that God will teach me to count it all joy because I know that joy improves the possibility of endurance. I also know that I can’t do this alone; I need the strength of the Lord to help me to endure. Nehemiah 8:10 “for the Joy of the Lord is your strength” I pray, that He will give me the strength to endure and to be joyful through it. That others will also see that joy and hope that I have in Christ Jesus. Although hard at times I'm Choosing JOY!