First Response!

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,I just said, “smile and be glad”!

God says to “consider it pure joy”!!!!

Over the years and trials of many kinds, I’ve realized that the “worry myself sick” approach or the “if I would have…,” beat myself up approach are both fruitless. Actually, the word “torture” best describes them. On the other hand, I have found that asking “why” can be beneficial to a certain degree, usually to learn from a mistake. But to stay in the “whys,” spending hours thinking and rethinking why you are experiencing this trial can also waste precious time and be, well, more torture. Besides, a good portion of our trials are due to the fact that we are in a spiritual battle and we have an Adversary who wants to see a big “L” looming over us, “L for Loser”!

Here’s a thought. When our back is “against the wall”, or we are in “hot water”, it will surely bring out everything in us whether good or bad!

If we are the analyzing type (or not), think about why we should “count it pure joy.”

In 2 Corinthians 12:10a, Paul said: “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties….”

By the way, do any of those words OFTEN describe our problems? YES!!! It’s obvious that there is a reason why we should and can “delight” or “consider it pure joy” when we face a trial.So let’s start in James 1:3, which begins with the word that usually starts off the answer for all “why” questions: “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

Every person of great character persevered and kept a positive attitude! The opposite of perseverance is to give in and well…lie, cheat, rage, cuss, fuss,  slander, stay bitter, sulk… I could go on and on!  Have we all fallen prey to one or maybe all of the attributes.  Yes!  In James 1:5 it tells us…”If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him”.

Trials(heat) come in many shapes and sizes, and wisdom is a key ingredient for standing strong in our tribulation. Much of what we are to do during a trial is clearly written in the pages of God’s Word. Sometimes, though, we need specific instructions, so we ask God, and He will tell us “without finding fault,” even if our foolishness got us in the predicament we are in! Isn’t that wonderful?

There is another reason to delight while in a trial.2 Corinthians 12:9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”Who would not want to see Jesus Christ help them take care of their problem? Our Lord’s grace is sufficient for us, no matter how difficult our situation is. His help is always enough to get us through. The best part is watching him do it!

This has helped me “…boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses….” Now when a challenge or difficult person comes my way, I think about the joy I will have recording how the grace of my Lord will get me through. Is this ALWAYS my first response?  Of course not!!   So when difficulties come your way, smile, be glad, count it pure joy, and be determined to persevere, to do what’s right. And in some circumstances, just get quiet and smile! It confuses the enemy! Attempt at all cost to look at “every” circumstance, or person positively.  Again it makes it hard for our adversary to know what we’re working with….and always remember we are not alone, for Jesus Christ’s power is available to us in every trying situation.

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