Mid Week Wake-Up, April 27, 2017
The Bible tells us some things that at first blush seem pretty crazy. Take for example how James tell us to consider it pure joy when we face the various trials of life. Financial struggles, family break-down, life threatening health concerns, betrayal by friends or the just the humdrum boredom of doing the same thing day after day – pure joy??? (I’m sure you can add other trials to the list too).
But when we look carefully at what James is saying he is not saying that we should walk through life with a kind of fuzzy, pain-free, light hearted happiness. Not at all. James knew about real pain and heartache all too well. He was after all, the brother of our Lord Jesus.
Two ways that James makes sense of this insistence on joy in the pain of life. One, God uses the various trials we face in life to make us more like we should be, which also happens to be what we really most want to be like. It is through the furnace of the trials of this life that God is purifying us and making us more like Jesus. Secondly, James tells us to “consider it pure joy”. So, this takes hard mental effort. God does not automatically zap us with joyous thoughts.
So as you face the trials that God has designed for your ultimate well-being, do the hard mental work of considering them as pure joy. And, if you struggle with that look at the next verse – verse 5 of James chapter 1 and put that into practice.
What is my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise