Sunday, July 19, 2009

Consider it Pure Joy?

Today in Sunday School (that's still weird to say by the way) we looked at the first few verses of James 1. Here's what it says:

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (vv. 2-4)

Brother Dave is in the habit of asking very pointed questions, so he says to me, "Emily, what trials did you face this week?"

I rattled off my answer and we got to talking about this verse and what it means for our "trials" and "tribulations."

Can I pause and say that sometimes, and Lord don't strike me dead, I think this verse is a little cliche? Actually it's not the verse that's cliche, it's people like you and me who make it cliche. Because when a friend of ours if have a rough time of it, we like to remind them, "Consider it pure joy..." But we definitely don't like be reminded of it ourselves.

And sometimes, there's just no stinking joy, okay?!

B. Dave said something that I thought was simple yet profound, "Maybe if we don't consider it joy, we aren't really considering it."

I'm not going to lie, I've got a nerve-wracking week ahead of me. And I don't know what's ahead of you. And I'm also not going to offer you a nice little Christian Cliche with a bow on top.

But I will say that I am going to try to renovate my viewpoint this week. Because if I'm not considering whatever-it-is as joyous, then perhaps I'm simply not considering it the way the Lord considers it.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I once heard a man tell the story of sitting in the doctor's office and receiving the diagnosis of CANCER. He SMILED, as he prayed, "OK God, this is my chance to prove my faith in You." That is the definition of true joy and steadfastness.