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Friday, January 21, 2011

Considering Joy

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds" James 1:2 NIV

I don't know about you but when I am in pain my first reaction is not to "consider it pure joy".  Like you, I look at the word and meaning of JOY and think of smiles, giggles and happiness. 

Webster's Dictionary defines joy as:
  1. a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight                                                        b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
  2. a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
  3. a source or cause of delight
This, however is not the definition of the joy found in James 1:2.  James is not asking us to pretend to be happy when we face pain and trial.  What he is saying is to have a positive outlook.  To focus on the good that can come from the awful circumstance.  We know God can use anything for his good purpose so based on this knowledge we have hope!  This hope enables us to live in Christ's joy in the toughest of situations.  Not being joyful of the trial but joyfully living in the midst of it. James challenges me to turn this hard and painful circumstance into a time of learning.  Seeing my struggle and pain as an opportunity to grow in character.    

I like the NLT translation of James 1:2 best:
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy."

7 comments:

  1. Great post! The book of James is one of my favorites.

    Josh

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great reminder. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been contemplating this verse a lot lately. NLT is my current favorite version of the Bible; very beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's beautiful! I've been so amazed in my life how God can bring out His glory, and good, and blessing, from what were truly awful and even life-threatening circumstances. You describe that very well. I hadn't heard the NLT, and I like it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are so right, James is not telling us we have to put on our happy face, but have a positive outlook!!! Thanks so much for linking up with us at GoodMorningGirls!!! :) I loved the NLT translation too! :)

    Love God Greatly!
    -Angela

    ReplyDelete
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