Trials - PURE JOY

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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Trials - PURE JOY

Unread post by Marie »

Dear Friends,

God can speak to us in the most unexpected ways. One of those ways for me has been watching a show called The Biggest Loser. For those who may not know, this is a contest between a cross-section of people, all needing to lose significant weight. I have learned more about James 1 from this show!

The contestants learn to eat right and work out each day. But at the end of the week they experience the most intense work-out. They sweat (and puke). It is painful. Muscles burn. Tempers flare. The two trainers push these individuals way beyond what seems humanly possible. But the results are amazing. These people lose many pounds each week and keep working toward their goals.

You see a difference in attitude among the contestants from week to week. Some seem to just be going through the motions – they don’t really seem to want to give full effort, and their heart doesn’t seem to be engaged. But some contestants see the end goal. They love it when the trainers push them as hard as possible, so that they lose more weight and attain their goal. They see that the trainer, even though asking them to do painful things, really has their best interests in mind.

What does this have to do with James 1?

James says that we should consider trials to be PURE JOY. How can trials be pure joy? When we walk through trials with the end goal in mind, we can consider trials pure joy because they are the way to the goal we really want – to be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

God is faithful. He is like the trainers, who are with the contestants through the whole thing and provide what is needed—instructions, hard words, smiles, attitude chats, hugs, and understanding—to help reach the goal.

God will never leave us. He will not let us be tempted (this is the same Greek word as trials in James) beyond what we can bear. He will provide us a way out so that we can stand up under it. (Of course we need to flee physically and mentally from temptations, but we also need to walk rightly through trials. God providing us a “way out” doesn’t mean we get to avoid the trial – otherwise we wouldn’t be “standing up under it”!!! See 1 Corinthians 10:13.) God is there with us through the whole thing and will give us whatever we need

In Philippians 3, Paul says: not that I am already perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do one thing: I press on to the goal, straining to what is ahead, to win the prize for which God called me.

You can do it! God is with you! He wants to guide you and enable you to stand through all trials. (See Habakkuk 3:17-19 below.) May you experience God’s incredible power and love as He walks with you through the fire. PURE JOY in trials – because Jesus is with us, encouraging us and enabling us to reach the goal.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 34:17-19

With thanks to our Lord--it is HIS strength in us that enables us to go on the heights,
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

--- Part Two!

Unread post by Marie »

A few days after I posted the message above, my computer crashed.

I am extremely protective of that computer – I am the only one who uses it – and it is dedicated exclusively to curriculum writing. This is the computer that I use to write all my Teacher Manuals. I thought of all the work I had been doing the past few weeks, especially the many intense hours on the new high school program. Was it all lost?

My co-worker describes my reaction as a deer stunned by the headlights. I didn’t even have words. I was in shock. I had been through a hard drive crash before – on the previous computer I used for curriculum writing – and it wasn’t fun!

After the shock wore off, I had some time to think. That is when God brought something to my mind. Two words -- “Pure joy.”

At that point it was decision time. I could give in to the fear and frustration I was feeling. Or I could choose to call this pure joy (even though it didn’t look so joyful!).

I must say, it was easier to choose pure joy because of what I had just posted. How could I post something as true and then ignore it a few days later? Isn’t God good in how He orchestrates events in our life?

So I left for 8 days to the Oregon convention (and to see our precious granddaughter). I had no idea what would be awaiting me when I returned. But God said to call it PURE JOY so who was I to call it anything else?

And yes, our computer guys were able to save all my files, and I returned home to a new computer all set up and ready to go. Thanks, guys, and thanks, God, for caring enough to give me life lessons that are making me “mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

What in your life does God want you to call PURE JOY?

Because of His love,
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Re: Trials - PURE JOY

Unread post by larissa5546 »

Thank you. I really needed that. I have been struggling with my emotions for the past few weeks about homeschooling. I have four children, ages are 8, 6, 3, and 1. I have homeschooled the two oldest since K and for some reason this year I feel emotionally drained and like I don't know that I want to do this again. Then I think of the alternative and how I would feel if they were in public school. I'd probably be worse.Now when I hear all their fussing at each other and think of our school year I can think of it as pure joy. It may take a few days to finally get there but I will. Thank you for your post.
Larissa ;)
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:48 am
Location: Senegal, West Africa

Re: Trials - PURE JOY

Unread post by JenD »

Thank you so much Marie! I have been struggling with joy for the last few weeks. We are missionaries in Senegal and the country has been experiencing terrible power outages. The worst in decades in fact! I wanted to wallow in my frustration at not having the power to use my computer as I needed, and have been struggling with too many personal grumblings. We just completed RTR last year & we all enjoyed memorizing James, so it was espececially sweet to read your references to James. Thanks again for all of your hard work & service! In His Grip, Jennifer
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