by Pastor Linda Skinner
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” James 1:2
I often thought that James was a bit callous when I read this scripture. Does he really think we can find “Joy” in our troubles? As usual, I was forgetting two important principles. First and foremost, never take one verse of Scripture out of context and try to make sense of it. James finishes his thought in the rest of the verses:
“ …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.” James 1:3-4
Maybe James is not suggesting that we find joy in our trails, maybe he is suggesting we find joy in the growth we experience from our trials. When I’m working out, I have to say I really don’t find “joy” in the sweating and soreness. However, I do find “joy” when the doctor tells me my heart is healthy and my jeans still fit.
Second, maybe my definition of “joy” needs some tweaking. What is “joy” anyway? God’s Word has some very specific things to say to us on these topics. This week I have the joy of sharing with you what I’ve been learning about the topic of “joy” from God’s Word. I invite you to join me in this exploration as we kick off a month-long series “Does It Spark Joy?”
The Super Bowl will be much more enjoyable because you’ve spent time in worship this weekend.
Have a blessed day,