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Consider This Joy?

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

James 1:2

Chalk this tough time up as joy. Though it is hard, trying, painful, scary, exhausting and heartbreaking. In the midst of the pain of it keep your focus on the purpose of it. Remember that this time of stretching your faith will be used to produce perseverance and endurance in you. It will deepen your faith roots and strengthen your character. It will reinforce your hope. As you see God meeting you in your needs and in your dark places, it will build into you a greater, deeper understanding of His faithfulness and His character and will mature your faith. When your default response to difficulty becomes joy-filled trust in Him you will find yourself lacking in nothing. You will be blessed and will know it. You will be able to stand tall and strong because you will better understand that His perfect love will be there for you..always and in all ways. There will be no need for fear. Anxiety won't have a leg to stand on.

Though I "know" this intellectually and even experientially, it certainly is not my default response to think of difficult circumstances as something to rejoice over. I may, on my very best day consider a trial in my life as something that God has allowed for some reason and he will give me what I need to get through it. But honestly, I've never thought "Great! Heartache! God is getting ready to do something wonderful in me!"

My "friend" Dr. Tony Evans said "Temptations are circumstances designed to defeat you. Trials are circumstances designed to develop you".

I'd like to (finally) get to that developed state where I quickly recall these things and immediately react with joy. I do know that as I live more and trust more and learn Him and His ways more that my faith and trust muscle will be developed and move me toward a quicker response of JOY-FULLY walking in a difficult time...and actually acting like I really believe that all things are working together for my good and even the icky times are being used to produce good things in me.

... It is much easier to rejoice in the days of harvesting good fruit than it is in the days of pruning and fertilizing. Just sayin'.

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