Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pure Joy...?

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

Okay, so trials = pure joy according to the NIV? That is both frustrating and amazing at the same time. Frustrating because it means that we will inevitably face trials in our lives or else we will never have faith. Amazing because God can use the worst times in our lives for such good.

What a bold statement. Any type of trial we face should be considered pure joy. So if I lose my job, I am supposed to trade all my anxiety and upset for joy. Because obviously God has something better in store. If I have an illness, I am supposed to trade in my worry and pain for joy, because I know God will not give me more than I can handle. Or if something that is beyond my control is absolutely destroying me, and I so wish I could get past this thing and be able to see the whole picture, I am supposed to trade in my panic and heartbreak for joy. Because God is bringing me through this situation to build my patience and faith, and He will bring me through it.

That last one is me right now, and probably a lot of you, too. Patience has never been something I've been good at. However, it seems like my patience is being tested this summer. It would have been easier if it were happening during the school year, because all 24 hours of my day would be busy with work, housework, spending time with Luke, and sleeping. There would be plenty of distractions then, and this thing that is eating away at me would not be staring me in the face. all.the.time. But this thing started right when summer did, and I have a lot of time on my hands, all by myself. I spend my days working around the house, alone. No distractions. And on the contrary, these mundane tasks around the house and yard make my thoughts seem so much louder.

It has taken me about four weeks to realize that I am going through this for a reason. And as hard as it is, I should be happy about it. As much as it hurts, and as impatient as I am, God is using this to bring me closer to Him. He is in the middle of showing me that I can trust him with anything. Instead of constantly asking, "Why me? Why can't things come easy for me?" I should feel honored that the Lord is not just handing me everything on a silver platter. He wants me to grow and become closer to Him. He wants to build my testimony so that I can help others in the same situation someday. He is making me mature and complete.

He is doing the same for you. Our pastor always says there are three kinds of people: people who are in the middle of a troublesome situation right at this moment, those who just went through one, and those who are about to go through one. And that is because God wants to bless us. He wants us to experience pure joy.

Remember the last time you saw a rainbow? Did it take your breath away? I know I'm always in awe when I see one. In that moment, you realize the rain was TOTALLY worth it, because it brought you something so beautiful.

(Sorry to be so mysterious and not letting you know exactly what it is that I'm going through. Someday I will explain it all :-))


  1. Girl, no need to be specific. When we struggle, we feel the same thing...and I am feeling it with you.
    Keep your head up. That rainbow is coming.

  2. I love those verses in James...always such a great reminder. Those words have smacked me in the face several times before, especially when I don't WANT to count it joy!

    Hang in there girl. No matter what happens in our lives, God knows what He's doing.

  3. I have a feeling we might be experiencing the same pain and pressure and inability to have patience over the same thing.

    I have been struggling with it vaguely on my blog as well.

    I'm praying for you, no matter the issues we're facing, like or not!

  4. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you've been having to go through such a trial, Jessica. I know what it's like to want something so badly, but having to just be patient and trust the Lord in the situation. It's not easy, but He really does use everything for our good!


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