Archive for the ‘Joy - The Defiant Nevertheless’ Category

Day Five: “A Defiant Opportunity for Great Joy!”

Friday, January 30th, 2015

James 1:2-8 (NLT)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

One of the defiant acts of the Gospel, defiant to the ways of our world, is being able to ‘consider it an opportunity for great joy’ when hardship and troubles affect our lives and calling.  This is not a ‘don’t worry, be happy’ attitude about life and difficulties.  It is not sitting back and letting things ‘play out.’  This isn’t even approaching life with the resiliency of  ‘no pain, no gain.’  This is a defiance that speaks and reveals a greater Divine purpose in this world.

Making an opportunity to rejoice out of hardship is a very humble endeavor as we are placing all things into the care and plans of God; yet, it is a rebellious disposition toward dealing with life in our our strength and might, figuring out our solutions and resolutions, or even subtly seeking attention and personal gain from being a victim to life’s hardships (as odd as that tricky response may seem).

Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of the faith, is our example and the source  of our faith that we have to face hardships.  It is in this faith we can make them opportunities to become more like Him in His suffering, and also hope for the joyous outcomes that cause heaven to celebrate and the world around us to take notice of God’s incredible love and power for us.  Therefore, when we don’t know what to do we can ask and receive from God.  We don’t have to doubt or fear when we approach hardship and trouble with this understanding of God’s providence for us.  God has answered in Christ, He is answering in our lives, and He will answer again when we need to know how to press on in these opportunities of ‘great joy.’

Let’s pause and look over our current situations in life.  Let’s not brush them aside, but face them with God’s wisdom and power - Christ, ‘the wisdom of God and the power of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24), and ‘Christ in us, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27).  Are there troubles and hardships that we need this James 1:2 perspective on?  Are there situations that we are currently dealing with where we need God’s wisdom so that the trouble or hardship becomes an opportunity to celebrate God’s goodness again?  Let’s ask for this defiant attitude of considering troubles as opportunities for great joy, and let’s pray for God’s presence to walk us through, changing us and changing the outcomes for His glory.

Day Four: “But Rejoice Inasmuch as You Participate in the Sufferings of Christ…”

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Day Three: “I Will Not Die But Live…”

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Day Two: “For the Joy Set Before Him…”

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Day One: “Rejoice Always, With the Joy Given By the Holy Spirit”

Monday, January 26th, 2015