A new faith-filled perspective to help you view life's challenges as occasions for joy.
Posted in , Mar 28, 2016
Think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. James 1:2 (CEB)
“Won’t THIS be an adventure!” my friend said, noting that the lights had gone out not only in the vacation condo we’d rented, but all over the city, judging from the darkened landscape we could see through the window. Midmorning in an unfamiliar setting is one thing. Nightfall is another.
Some complain when the lights go out, but my friend’s first reaction was curiosity about the kind of adventure we’d experience because of it. That was her response to most things other people might find irritating or disruptive.
She wasn’t out of touch with reality. On the contrary, she was deeply in touch with the reality Jesus came to bring. He told us His joy could be ours (John 15:11). His Word says that His joy is our strength–and why would that matter if we weren’t constantly desperate for strength?–and that we can “count it all joy” when trouble comes (James 1:2).
Consider those challenges “occasions for joy,” as the Common English Bible puts it. Adventures. James 1:2 is a verse that can evoke confusion, disbelief, or anger for some. Joy? Out of a disheartening situation? That doesn’t even make sense... unless you understand that because of the intense love of Jesus, we can trust His assurance that even the things we suffer make us more complete individuals (James 1:3–4).
The process doesn’t have to empty us. It can make us full because of the presence of Jesus made more tangible than ever in our time of need. In that light, at times life feels like an amusement park with too many rides and a world-class roller coaster. But our hearts not only beat faster, they’re stronger when we reach the adventure’s end.
Faith Step: Have you logged your current situation into the “Occasions for Joy” column yet? Because Jesus supported the idea, you can reframe an aspect of today’s trial as “Adventure with Him.” See what happens.