Enjoying Joy

Philosophy View of joy

A feeling of great pleasure and happiness

Biblical View of joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, James 1:2 NKJV

As I watched my mother pass away, my heart sank and the grief set in. Hardly a day goes by without asking myself why her, why now, why this? I thought to myself I barely had enough time with her considering we had just reconnected. I wondered why did my mother have to die so soon after God had given us this second chance and there was still so much catching up we needed to do.

It is a natural human inclination to think that going through trials and negative circumstances we would not be able to experience joy. Choosing to respond to life’s difficult situations with inner contentment and satisfaction doesn’t seem to make sense because by ourselves it’s hardly possible. Joy is a choice! The Lord is the originator of true joy.

Peter was writing to the believers who were “living as foreigners” in other lands. Peter echoes that these believers should not  be surprised by the troubles and trials that they will experience for following Christ.

He addressed them as “Dear friends, (as if to comfort them) don’t be surprised at the fiery trials we are going through instead, be very glad because these trials will make us partners with Christ in His suffering, and afterwards we will have the wonderful joy of sharing His glory” we may or may not face direct prosecution for being believers, but we all at some time will experience pain and suffering in this fallen, sinful world, but if we know Jesus we can know the joy of his companionship and comfort in the intensity of the trials.

 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.

But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy 1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV

 We can respond to life’s trials with genuine joy if we know  that the Lord has a purpose for why He allows those difficult times of suffering and trials. In this passage, the purpose for trials was to produce patience or endurance (the ability to hold up under a trial) in our lives.

The process of learning to respond with joy during times of trials in life must begin with a conscious awareness that God is at work in our lives and that He has a tangible purpose for why we may be experiencing these trials.

The people to whom Peter wrote had never even seen Jesus, yet they saw Him with eyes of faith. For some people seeing is believing. Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciple was like that. Jesus told him, “you believe because you have seen me, blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway”, in other words believing is seeing! so Peter wrote, “You love him even though you have not seen Him. According to 1 Peter 1:8 it expressed that though you do not see him, you trust him, and even now you are happy with glorious, inexpressible joy.

Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 NKJV

Are you finding it difficult to be full of joy when life is full of hurt? Does God seem far away? Peter reminds us to trust God even, though we cannot see him or even see him working. Rejoicing with inexpressible joy can be our experience too. Joy even in trouble is part and parcel of the wonderful Salvation Christ wants us to enjoy. Our reward for trusting him Is the salvation of our souls. Now that’s joy we can enjoy.   

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