Friday, July 22, 2011

Pure Joy

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Pure Joy     
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Joy is generally not the first thing one thinks about when thinking about or experiencing trials. I suppose if we look at things in light of asking why me and while serving cake at our pitty party there may not seem to be any reason for joy. The problem is we are asking the wrong question. The question is not why me? The question needs to be Lord, what are you doing through this?
The verse above tells us that trials test our faith. Do we really believe God will help us?  If so we will keep our focus on him in expectancy that what he is doing is for our growth and for our good. Quite often we get to a trial and we find out that we are busy trying to fan the flames of faith but find we have not put more than twigs on the fire. We can’t just look to God when things are hard. We have to be building that relationship on a daily basis. Everyday, I need to be in His presence, every day I need to develop an on going conversation with him as I go through the day. Every day I need to be in his Word, every day I need to be believing and trusting and watching in wonder at the works of His hand. If I am when I get to times of trials there will be logs in my fire and I will burn brightly for Jesus.

Those trials that we face produce perseverance or patience. Thats the stick to it resolve, the I know, that I know, that I know that Jesus loves me and has a plan that is good. It moves me from a shallow faith of lip service to one of maturity and depth in which my life speaks and confirms that no matter what God is with me, No matter what is way is good, no matter what I know He loves me. No matter what I will stand for Him.

Things to Ponder:
If you are currently going through a trial - what is it showing you about your level of faith?

Prayer:
Dear Lord, I ask you to help me in this trial I presently face. I can see that I have not built up much of a reserve. Help me to use this expereince and remeber how you have helped me to be a log for a future fire of faith when I walk through other trials. In my life. Help me remember in this one your word, your ways, your love and how you have helped me in the past. Help me to ask with joy, what you are doing rather than the whiny why me? of my pitty party. Help me to seek you all the time not just when things are rough.

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