Tuesday, April 25, 2017

When Happy Isn't Happening, Choose Joy (James 1:2-4)

James 1:2-4 says to "Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials...." "Consider" means to actively take your thoughts captive and turn them in a proper direction. "All joy" speaks to the peace that we can have knowing that God is in control and that no matter how bad things get He is faithful to not let go of us. Joy does not equal happy. Happy is a feeling. Joy is a choice. "Encounter" means that we most likely did not go looking for the situation, but that it came to us. God knows our every step. He knows our every thought and our every word before there is ever one of them. He scrutinizes our path and knows when we rise up and sit down. He is with us in the heights of our emotion and in the depths of them as well. He encloses us before and behind and has His hand on our shoulder. There is no encounter that He is not with us and concerned about. "Various trials" covers the gamut of all of our trials. There is no trial of any size or nature that is excluded from these various ones. James continues, "knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance...." Okay then, so it is included in the way that God works in our trials that we not escape those trials, but rather learn to endure them in the strength that comes from Him. Endurance does not come without exercise and what is exercised is our "faith." Faith is our trusting God in all things which includes every single one of these various trials. It is looking to the size of our God over the size of our trials and realizing that not one of these trials has come to us outside of His sovereign and loving hands. It is through these trials that we see God prove Himself in us and we grow in our ability to trust even more. The interesting thing about this is that sometimes we have to learn the same lessons over and over again, and the amazing thing is that God knows this and He is patient with us in the process. James then writes, "And let endurance have is perfect result that you might be mature and complete lacking in nothing." God grows us in the trials He brings our way. He grows us to a level that points to our full maturity in Christ. We will never be more saved, but we definitely will become more mature. Latest on a quickly growing list of chose to trust opportunities is that the water pressure at the house has been dropping and the pressure tank on the well is empty. Going to the pump house I discovered that the well pressure is well below the level where it should kick in. I am hoping that we can limp through till tomorrow and that I can trouble shoot the problem. The control box and the pressure switch were replaced in 2009, but I am hoping that one of these is again the problem because it is probably the cheapest answer. My prayer is that we will have water until then, that I will be able to figure out the solution, fix it, and that I will indeed strongly consider even this joy when my heart and mind want to crawl into a hole.

How are you doing in this area?

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