From the previous letters, we’ve come to understand the powerful spiritual force of joy, and its ability to cause us to overcome the difficulties we face in life. Today we’re going to look at how our attitude to God’s Word activates this spiritual force and releases it to go to work in our lives.
In the book of James, we are told to consider it joy when going through our trials. In other words, we are supposed to have a predetermined resolve to have an attitude of joy even before trouble comes. Then, we are to maintain that choice of attitude through the storm, until we are carried on to victory !
Thankfully, James tells us how we can actually do this in the very next verse. Let’s see what he says in James 1:3, “Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith brings out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”
James explains that if we find ourselves fallen, head first into trouble that has us surrounded on every side with trials too difficult to bear alone, there is a sure hope! In spite of how difficult or hopeless it may seem, if you are a child of God - there is more than just light at the end of the tunnel - there’s a glorious victory waiting for you!
If you just do things God’s way, you will find this trial will test and prove your faith to be more than equal to the opposition piled up against you, and this journey will produce qualities in you that you never even dreamed possible. Qualities that cause you to stand strong and true and undefeated no matter what comes against you. James calls those qualities endurance, steadfastness, and patience.
Now, James begins verse 3 by telling us to be assured and understand that if you don’t give in to fear, but hold onto your trust in the Lord and His Word, these qualities will most certainly be established inside you. In other words, the truth that your trial will not defeat you, but rather improve you, is what you have to keep in the forefront of your mind at all times!
This means we must make a deliberate decision to shift our thoughts off the reality of our troubles and to a place where we know, understand and are completely assured that we will come through on top!
No matter how bad things seem, if we hold on to what God’s Word says, we will walk right out of the trial far stronger, wiser, and taller than we were before we entered into it.
Keeping our minds focused on that truth alone, will cause that joy to begin to rise up inside our spirits. James is telling us that we can either see what we are going through as an opportunity to have our faith proven, and our lives improved with His excellent qualities developed in us; or we can see it as a time to become fearful, to give up, and to fail. It just depends on what outcome we decide to keep our minds fixed on.
Next week, I’m going to talk about those excellent qualities being formed in us, and how they work together to see us overcome victoriously.
Until then, practice keeping your mind focused on what the Word of God says your outcome will be, instead of what those worrisome, fearful thoughts are shouting.
You’ll be amazed at how you can train your mind to become fixed on the truth. It will release that strong, inner joy from your spirit, and infuse you with great inner strength.
All my love,