Joy is Chosen
Joy does not just happen. It is something we get to decide whether or not we experience it. And true joy can occur in hard or good times. Joy is chosen. And when it is, there is nothing that can steal our joy.
Bible Reading of the Day: James 1-3
This book was written by the half-brother of Jesus. The Easy English Bible commentary describes the main message of the book of James in this way:
“A large number of the Christians had left Jerusalem and had gone to live in other countries. But the apostles and leaders of the church did not go. So, these Christians no longer had the day-to-day contact with their leaders. James wrote to help them. He wrote to encourage them to live as Christians should, in the places where they now lived.
What Christians believe must affect what they do. That is the main subject of his letter. He shows how they should apply their trust in God to the problems that they have. Real faith must be active. That is the key to what he wrote. Faith that does nothing is not real faith. So he says that faith without works is dead.”
Joy is Chosen
James 1:2-4 CSB
“2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
Notice the words, “Great joy”. This joy was massive. And friends, we need joy to walk out this life of faith. James is writing about the need for faith with works and it is trials that can cause us to get sidetracked. But if we learn how to handle trials with joy, we can overcome and live out this message faithfully. Joy is Chosen. And it can be chosen at all times.
The enemy works to discourage us and sometimes we believe the lie that we are forgotten when God allows suffering in our lives. We get distracted and just want the absence of troubles, but here James is challenging us to rise above our pain and to recognize the blessings of trials. That sounds like an oxymoron, right? Blessings in trials? Yes.
Joy is Chosen—Gratitude
Gratitude cultivates joy. What are some blessings that God has shown you in some of the hard places in your life?
In the hospital recently, God filled me with joy as I considered the gift of life. And the character God was imparting to me and the revelations He showed in the midst are treasures.
Joy is Chosen—In the Daily
James is chock-full of practical tips to help us find joy in our daily lives.
James 1:5 – We can have wisdom for the asking.
“5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.”
Ecclesiastes 8:1 (NIV)
“Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.”
James reminds us to do what we say we believe.
“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
“12 Speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of freedom.”
“22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was made complete.”
When we are hearers and doers, we have joy. Being duplicitous only leads to conflict, confusion, and depression.
Joy is Chosen—Joy in Mercy
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has not shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Friends, our Savior chooses to sit on a seat of mercy when we deserve damnation. If this does not produce joy, God help us. This life is not the end goal.
Scripture of the Day: James 3:13
“Who among you is wise and understanding? By his good conduct he should show that his works are done in the gentleness that comes from wisdom.”
Friends, let’s live out God’s word. Living out what God has shown us gives us great joy. God’s ways are best. Living in sin discourages us and defeats us and James mentions several sins – favoritism, gossip, a duplicitous faith, pride, cursing, that keep us burden and joyless. Christ gave His life for us. Let’s live faithfully for Him.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #301: James 1-3—Joy is Chosen
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: James 3:13
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