Joy takes practice. Study joy in the Psalms. Psalmists didn’t even know the details of Jesus’ love but, with their glimpses of God’s love, they had joy & gladness. If you are willing to look for joy, the psalmists can lead you to it. The goodness of God is shot through creation & the church, so joy is always possible. When you can’t see it, return to the cross and appreciate the beauty of what Jesus did. Appreciate the beauty of his sacrifice—his willingness to become like us and give up everything. Appreciate the beauty of his love. Just behold it. Admire it.
God’s splendor ascends over the sorrow of life. Joy is possible. Choose to become an expert in it. After all, joy is not fleeting. What you will taste is “everlasting joy.”“& the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness & joy will overtake them, & sorrow & sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10) It is here to stay, & the day is coming when those who know Jesus will be known by their joy. Believe it or not, you are becoming a joyous person. You will be a joyous person. Some say that joy is the serious business of heaven. But don’t think that this is just for the sweet by-&-by. The kingdom of heaven began with power when Jesus came, so you can get into the family business even now.
Joy and suffering are wedded together. It is in the context of desert trials that the book of James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2–4). At first glance it looks like an impossible marriage, but James is not the only one to speak about hardships with a hint of a smile on his face. Other Scriptures concur, for example: “Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold . . .—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6–7).
Before Jesus came, wise people willingly endured difficulties because they knew God was with them. After the cross everything was transformed, including perspectives on suffering. Pilgrim travelers still encounter suffering as much as ever, but suffering is now viewed as the pains of childbirth rather than pain that is purposeless and random—mere accidents. Since Jesus came, suffering is redemptive. When we keep Jesus in view, the one who “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), we can begin to understand how James could encourage us to have joy in the desert trek.
Heart of the matter: Daily reflections for changing hearts and lives
Welcome to Fresh-Hope! “You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:8)
Daniel: Thank you, Kelly!
Jan 8, 2020 10:08:40 GMT -5
sevenofnine: Happy new year from SO CAL like I told the chat thread they light off the fireworks trust me it fireworks I could tell between gun and fireworks OKAY LOL!
Jan 1, 2020 3:07:16 GMT -5
bystillwaters: Praying for a joyous year...2020.. May we have a real revival...Amen
Dec 31, 2019 20:39:08 GMT -5
sevenofnine: Then plane crash in Russian Causus of Kardzieran
Dec 27, 2019 11:35:07 GMT -5
sevenofnine: Hey Daniel how my fellow international news correspondant I been holding the fort down some crazy stuff happen last night at LAX little girl was found dead at some plane out of LAX
Dec 27, 2019 11:34:50 GMT -5
Cheryl: Hi Daniel!! We've missed you around here. And we've been worried!! Good to see you!!
Dec 24, 2019 19:39:29 GMT -5