Do you have pure joy in your trials?

June 30, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
(James 1:2-3 (NIV))

Here is another thing that we, as humanity, have problems with. It just doesn’t make sense to us that we should be joyous when we are facing troubles. It is human nature to wallow in self pity when the least little thing doesn’t go our way. We equate joy with happiness and happiness with a life in which everything goes our way. Following that logic, how is it possible that we could experience joy when we should be experience anxiety, anger and frustration?

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 (NIV))

We have been told by Jesus that following Him would not make the troubles go away. Jesus stressed that we would still have troubles, but that He would be with us to walk through them. We have also been told that we would be persecuted just like He had been persecuted. I know that this sounds strange to the world, but to be tested in our faith and to stand firm is a thing that should bring joy to each and every person who proclaims a faith in Jesus. It is only possible to have joy when we are at peace, even in the midst of trouble. There is only one type of peace that can bring us this joy.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7 (NIV))

Do you have pure joy in your trials?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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The other side of rest

August 26, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

I realize that this is the same passage from a week ago. Today, I am looking at it from the other side of a long awaited rest from the world.

It was wonderful to escape the day to day trials of the world. It was wonderful to rest and recharge. It was wonderful to look out and see the majesty of God’s creation and to simply take it all in. I am thankful to have been able to spend the last week with my wife as we celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Both of us rested from the hectic pace that is our daily lives.

No cell phones. No Internet. Then reality hit.

We are back and the world is still in turmoil. The world is still hectic. The world is still facing things that can only be described as attacks from the enemy. Satan did not go away while we were gone. All of the worldly crises did not go away while we were gone. If anything, even more attacks seem to have reared their ugly head while we were gone.

Should I be worried? Should I, as a member of the Body of Christ, turn and seek safety?

We are called to be in the middle of the spiritual battle that is taking place. We are not called to retreat. There are times when we will need rest so that we will be able to continue our part, but we, as the Body of Christ, should never run from the enemy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV))

We are told to rest in God’s presence. We are also told that we are to put on the full armor of God. We are only human. We cannot go all out in part of God’s calling. We need rest. We need quiet time to spend time with God and to recharge.

Too much rest and we become lazy. Too much battle without rest and we become burned out.

Even Jesus had to get away from the crowds and rest in God’s presence. What makes us think that we can do it differently?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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