Let's be honest. Sometimes life stinks.
Figuratively, but possibly literally depending what you are smelling right now. (I'm looking at you West Monroe people that live near the paper plant! haha)
Some days it seems like everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
- Financial trials: Finances are tight to say the least and things are stressful right now.
- Job trials: Maybe you have a job you hate. Maybe you don't have a job and want one.
- Marriage trials: Yours is hanging on by a thread or maybe you guys just aren't "clicking" right now.
- Relationship trials: Friends are stabbing you in the back or maybe you are lacking community now.
- Health trials: You can't do what you want to do physically or you just can't seem to get over something.
- Spiritual trials: God seems a little distant right now and you aren't sure why. You are struggling.
- Normal life trials: Everything in your house breaks at the same time! Or so it seems.
Let's be real. In this life, we are going to face trials. But the Bible says we are be joyful at all times..
James 1:2 says,"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,"
Consider it pure joy when I lose my job?
Consider it pure joy when God seems distant?
Consider it pure joy when people make fun of me at school?
Last week God helped me to understand this principle more clearly..
I learned that the phrase "consider it" in the NIV literally means "add it up".
Essentially James is saying "add it up" as pure joy when we face trials of many kinds..
And God helped me grasp this:
That if I take all the trials that I'm facing and put them on one hand...
- Add up all the trials that you are going through right now..
Then on the other hand I compare them to the cross...
- the fact that GOD LOVES ME SO MUCH that He sent Jesus to die for my sins and take my place!
And I add them up: it comes up JOY!
This is because
"THE BEAUTY OF THE CROSS OVERCOMES THE PAIN OF ALL THE TRIALS WE MAY FACE IN THIS LIFE"
That if you are truly IN CHRIST; then whatever happens this side of heaven you can add it up as pure joy because;
The beauty of the cross.
The depth of His love for you.
The amazingness of His grace.
The richness of His mercy.
We don't have to like the trials we are facing right now...
But we don't have to live a joyless life because of them..
Ponder your trials today and compare them to the beauty of the cross..
Christian, I can guarantee that with the help of the Holy Spirit...
You can add it up as "pure joy".
Thank you Jesus.