DayBreaks for 6/20/18: Was James Crazy?
In James 1:2-4, James wrote, 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.
Did you catch what James is suggesting? “Consider it all joy”? I mean, how many of us really wake up in the morning and say, “God, please send me trials today that I can be joyful!” You’re much more likely to think: “James, you’re a nut. Give me a break. Every0one knows that trials are things to be avoided, not embraced!”
Did James mean what he wrote? Yes, I believe he meant EXACTLY what he said. Pay close attention to his words or we’ll misunderstand what he’s trying to teach us. He did not say: “Consider yourself lucky when trials rain down on your life a cloudburst.” What he did say was this: “Consider it all joy.” There is a difference between happiness and joy.
Larry Crabb perceptively wrote in his book, Shattered Dreams, “People who insist on happiness never find joy.” We have a tendency to think that happiness and joy are the same thing. They are not. Happiness results when things we like and enjoy come to pass, but it is transient – it comes and goes. Joy, however, is not something the comes and goes with the changing of circumstances. Joy is a calmness that runs beneath life’s storms, it is a delight that settles the heart and gives the soul an anchor that holds fast in the midst of the greatest storms of life.
May you experience both joy and happiness…but don’t confuse the two. And if you can have only one – choose the joy that can rule in your heart even in the midst of various trials!
PRAYER: We thank You, God, for joy. We thank you that in the midst of trials, we can have joy even though happiness seems far away. May we have that joy knowing that in our trials, you are perfecting us and completing us as You please. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.