Joy to the World

God does not expect us to be happy about our troubles, but He does want us to see joy in them!

The Birth of Joy
Considering Our Troubles

Scripture Reading: James 1:1-8

Key Verse: Psalm 96:11
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise!

The phrase “The Birth of Joy” is correct in the way a Christ-follower’s joy grows in their lives. As new Christians, our joy is based on the knowledge we may have on what the Bible says about our joy. That biblical knowledge of joy might be a lot for some, but for most it is very little.

As a Christian reads the Bible and stays in a good Bible-based Church, their joy grows as they learn more about the meaning of their decision to follow Christ. Somewhere along the way, all Christ-followers run smack into James 1:2-4:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

For most of us, that scripture seems impossible to live out. We need to remember the biblical definition of “joy”. If James would have written, “Dear brothers and sisters, be happy about the troubles that come your way…” we would, indeed, find that impossible to live out. God does not expect us to be happy about our troubles, but He does want us to mature enough to see the joy in them. James goes on to explain why this is true:

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:3-4).

Christ-follower, if I were to ask you if you want to be “perfect and complete” in Christ what would you say?

We would all say “yes”; Jesus deserves that from us. However, if left on our own, none of us could ever get to that level of being perfect and complete. The good news is that our Father in heaven is the perfect Gardner and knows exactly how to grow us into the people He wants us to be, and that we want to be. James reminds us that our Father uses “troubles” to accomplish the good work in us; thus the reason he writes, “consider it all joy” when troubles come our way.

Here is our challenge: the next time some trouble pops up in our lives, let’s try to picture our “good, good Father” going to work for us while we walk with Him. Let’s try to see ourselves stronger and more like Jesus because of these troubles. The more we understand this, the more joy will grow in us.

Father, please remind me during my troubles that you are at work, and that I can have joy knowing you are making me better. In Jesus’s Name, amen.

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