Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. - James 1:2-4 NLT
Thoughts for Today
God has blessed us with laughter and joy. Christianity is joyful and joy is good for our health.
We all experience difficult times that hold no laughter, but during those trying times God provides joy in spite of our circumstances.
One of Webster's definitions of joy is "a source or cause of delight." God is our source of joy and he never changes, no matter what is happening. He provides the cause of our joy: his love, his forgiveness, his grace, his peace, his strength, his hope for today, for tomorrow, and especially for eternity.
All of these wonderful things are ours no matter what our circumstances, no matter what we are going through.
Consider this …
We have a choice. When we are going through difficult times, we can choose to remember all those good things and to allow this joy to stay strong within us ... Or we can focus totally on the difficulties and fail to trust God to bring us through, to meet the need, to ultimately work all things for good.
God loves you. He wants to bring you joy that is beyond understanding. Joy through the good times and the painful times.
Will you choose joy?
Father, thank you for joy and laughter. Sometimes when things aren't going well, I struggle to hold on to the joy. No matter what I go through, help me to trust you to work all things together for good. Help me to consider it an opportunity for great joy. In Jesus' name ….
These thoughts were drawn from …Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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