peace

Trial-size Joy

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.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:2-8

Yesterday, we took a look at what a “trial” is.  It can be a legal proceeding or something that we must suffer, endure or get through.  And at the end, there waits a promised reward, because as we walk through the trial trusting God, the end result can be increased spiritual joy.

Sometime we are given a choice about going through a trial,  You may be presented at times with several options to evaluate on how you’ll move forward in your life.  Some options may seem pretty easy and direct, without a lot of obvious complications.  An example would be a job you are offered that pays a liveable wage, but that does not utilize your strongest skill or allow you to advance a cause you feel passionately about.  You might opt to take that job, because the alternative is too uncertain.  You may hear God calling you to take a particular path in speaking to a friend or neighbor about Christ, but it is comfortable right there in your home with your feet up and a hot cup of coffee.

Making the “easy” choice does not mean you are sinning, but it may mean that you are missing out on an opportunity God is giving you to grow, stretch your faith and thereby experience deep and lasting joy when you are able to see how He worked out all the details.  To “test” your faith by going out of your comfort zone gives you an ability to see God actively work in your life as you eagerly follow his directions.

If you’ve been hesitant about doing something that you think God wants you to do, why not step forward today and see if God meets you?  This is where pure joy comes from.

These first steps bring you through to take more steps.  You’ll then be filled each day by the Holy Spirit with the strength you need to keep going.

In the consumer world, trial size means you just want to buy a little and try out the product.  In the spiritual world, trial-size joy is actually the ENORMOUS bulk package size.  When you’ve completed the work or endured the trial you will be full-to-overflowing with trial size joy!

All the Best in 2013!

Julie

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