DayBreaks for 03/25/11 – Joy and Happiness
James 1:2-4 says: “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, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
This may seem like a very strange passage. Passages such as this may be part of the reason that some people consider Christianity to be crazy! Think about it: “Consider it all joy…when you encounter lots of trials”? It is almost enough to make one think that James was a bit off his rocker when he wrote this. I mean, could James have really believed that trials are joyful?
Yes, that is precisely what he wrote. It is worth noting what he did not say: “Consider yourself lucky” or “Don’t trials make you really happy?” He didn’t say those things. He said, “Consider it all joy.” There is a marked difference between joy and happiness.
In his book, Shattered Dreams, author and psychologist Larry Crabb wrote, “People who insist on happiness never find joy.” Happiness, Crabb says, is a result of favorable circumstances and events, it comes and goes by nature; but joy isn’t that way. Joy remains, even when circumstances are not favorable. Joy is a like a calmness river that runs beneath the varied circumstances of life, and it is a delight that life’s circumstances can’t take away. Joy, Christian joy, is a delight that gives us something to hold on to regardless of what is happening in our lives.
It isn’t the trials that bring the joy, according to James, it is what the trials produce in us: Christlikeness!
PRAYER: Let us know the joy that comes from the trials that make us become more like Jesus! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple ><}}}”>
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