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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Consider it Pure Joy....

~James 1:2-7
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

This Scripture keeps coming back to me and my family.... Just when you think it has been neatly tucked away in our memory, it pops up into our lives, and reminds us that life is not always a box of chocolates.

Well, maybe it is like a box of chocolates, with many different ingredients, and delicacies.  

Most people like chocolates, and truly enjoy eating from a big selection and assortment, but not everyone likes one kind of chocolate.  Not everyone likes caramel  or nuts, or gooey centers.... one persons delight is another persons last choice.  

It is kind of how life is sometimes... we go along enjoying that which is laid out for us each day, some times it is good, and enjoyable and some times it is something that brings unwanted feelings, experiences, laughter or pain. 

Like biting into a chocolate covered strawberry... Now some people LOVE them, some people like them but they are allergic to them, and some people just Hate them.... Some people swell up and turn colors from them...  Or biting into a nice little chocolate covered ant, or worm.... looks good and yummy on the outside, but when you find out what is on the inside, it makes you want to spit it out...   

Life tends to give you experiences like this too.

I am a chocolate lover, and I admit that I do kind of like chocolate covered strawberries, and that I do enjoy all kinds of chocolates, and I might even have tried chocolate covered ants, crickets, and other assorted insects in my life time.... but I am a little bit more adventurous than most. 

I also look at adversity in a different way than most people.... I don't turn to God immediately and say "Why Me?"  I tend to think "Why not me Lord, what Do I need to learn..." .  Me, I tend to look at it from the prospective of James.  

It has been a lesson that I have tried to instill in my daughters from an early age.  I think and hope that I have been successful in doing this.  

So many times in our family, we have been dealt situations that were not always happy times. Like being laid off from work, or dealing with difficult relationships, or dealing with the death of loved ones.  

We have learned that these times are not used to make our lives miserable, they are there to draw us closer to God, and to bring our relationship with him to a new level.  We have learned to be examples in our pain, and dissapointment, to learn from them, and to draw our strength from Christ.

We are privileged to be here, in our given families, surrounded by friends and loved ones.  It is not something that we should take for granted.  You never know when that gift will be taken away. 

When you deal with sorrow, or disappointing situations, look at it from a different perspective... Try to think of it from Gods point of view.... He is waiting for us to look first to HIM, and to go to him for our comfort and direction.  So often He is the last person we go to.  He is waiting patiently for us to draw near to him, and for us to make our relationship deeper with him.  He is waiting for us to understand that these things happen to make us better people, and to strengthen our relationship with him and other believers.

Which brings us back to the book of James.... "Consider it pure joy...."  Try to find the joy in the situation, I know it is hard to do some times, but all Joy comes from God, so look to him first... 



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