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Finding JOY in Trials...

The verse this morning on my YouVersion Bible App was one most of us grew up hearing. It is about having joy in trials and temptations.

James 1:2-3

Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations; for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance. (CJB)

This says to regard it as JOY when you face temptations. That is different than trials. To me, trials are when situations beyond our control come our way. Maybe it is an unexpected illness, loss of a job, a move you really do not want to make…

Temptations are when you are faced with a choice in how to respond to the trials. You have the trial in front of you, you are tempted to get angry or respond with doubt. You are tempted to throw in the towel and not trust, or choose not to listen to what the Holy Spirit is prompting within you.

When these trials and temptations are placed in front of you, you are tested. You are being given a choice to respond with HOPE in God, or give up. You have the choice to say in pride, “I will do it my way,” or clothe yourself in humility and have FAITH that God knows what He is doing and has the best in store for you. You have the choice to LOVE even when it is difficult, or walk away in anger because something didn’t go your way.

The Passion Translation says:

My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.

I, personally, like the words, “stirs up power within you” in this version. Reading this gives me the assurance that I have power within me to overcome the trials. That power is the Holy Spirit. It is a reminder to me that Someone GREATER than the power of the world is helping me. GREATER is HE that is in me, than he that is in the world.

This version also reminds me that this is an “opportunity.” This is something I should value and regard as a positive experience in my life. The ultimate outcome is good.

Friends, take heart today that God is still in control. In HIM you can find JOY in trials. When you experience that JOY, you bring PEACE to the situations around you, and to the people around you. Lay your worries at HIS feet. Let HIM be in control of the situation. Write it down if you have to, and then give it to HIM.

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