Joy through perseverance

Last time I posted I covered 5 ways to take back your joy. If you missed it, click here. But today I want to explore how to handle situations when it’s very difficult (seemingly impossible) to take back your own joy. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to will myself into having joy in a hard situation. One example that seems to be a recurring one for me is when my child has pushed my buttons for the millionth time… I have literally had the following conversation with myself: “You can do this… the Bible says to be joyful… you are in control, not your kids…  why do I always get so frustrated? Am I broken? I’m a horrible mom! Why can’t I control my temper? If I yell, then he’s going to yell… and I can’t tell him not to yell if I do it too…” and the self-beatings go on and on.

These are the moments where we have to lean on the Lord. I don’t know if you have heard that phrase as much as I have during my life. I grew up in the bible belt and have been to more church services than I can count. But leaning on the Lord hasn’t come easy and sometimes can seem more like a far reaching concept rather than a physical, literal leaning. Or maybe I’m the only one that struggles with this one…

After pondering all of this I have come across James 1:2-4. It says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

First of all, here we see that we are not promised an easy life. It doesn’t say “if” you face trials, it says “whenever you face trials.”

It says, consider it pure joy! Why? “Because you know that testing your faith produces perseverance.” But why is this important?

I think verse 4 is the key… “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

So, if we face trials and through that trial become stronger, smarter, more obedient to Christ… then it should make us joyful for having been through the trial. He wants to make us complete!

You know, I don’t think I will ever be fully complete until I am in glory, however I want to be a mature, joyful and as complete as possible in this life. I think that is how we are able to encourage others and help lead them to Christ.

Dear Jesus, 

   Thank you again for dying on the cross. As many times as I have thought about it, it always amazes and humbles me to think that you reduced yourself down to a mortal man to die for me. I know you were thinking of me (and all your children) on that day. Thank you! 

Lord help me to be joyful even in the midst of trials. No one wants to go through a hard situation but I trust that you are my loving Heavenly Father that will provide. Give me strength and let the Holy Spirit guide me. 

In your name, Amen. 

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