“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)
The testing of my faith. I have seen it time and again: my broken heart or tortured mind falls into a million pieces, as I ask Jesus, “why?”
Sometimes the answer to that question comes quickly. Sometimes it does not. There are some “why’s” I will never know the answer to this side of heaven. Sometimes it’s me causing the damage; sometimes it’s others hurting me.
But in the pain, in the tragedy, Jesus gently, yet firmly commands me to “consider it pure joy.” This joy is not of smiles, necessarily; rather, it is of having a positive outlook, like seeing the sunset beyond a summer rainstorm.
Jesus wants me to have perseverance. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to scream and crumple into a ball. After all, as our Savior, Jesus cried out from the cross. But He wants us to see beyond our pain.
Our salvation was the pure joy He had as He hung on that cross. He knew He would win the hearts of many and save them for eternity. How that all works out is a mystery, and a post for another day.
I guess all that I’m trying to say is this: I feel the tension of a trial biting at me, wearing me down… but I know my Savior. I know that this will turn out for my good. And that is my Hope Unshakeable.
Consider the trial a joy, my dear friends.
Annalee, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY
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