Joy on Trials

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 Posted by Sara

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It was a quiet morning on the park bench, Bible on my lap, a bag of grapes by my side.  I kept thinking of what Joy had said the day before – that she was a promise remembered, a promise fulfilled.  I remembered the verse – “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).” I considered what must have been on Jesus’ mind as He approached His last days.  It was the promise of the Father that carried Him through, I imagined. I suppose I didn’t realize Joy was so strong.
I hadn’t noticed her quiet arrival until I turned and saw her sitting peacefully on the bench beside me. 
“It’s time,” she said pointing down at my Bible.
She was right.  I was just afraid to ask.
She smiled affirming, and gently took my Bible out of my lap.  She held it before her and read, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…James 1:2.”  She touched the page with affection, as if these words were of particular significance to her. I held my breath waiting for an explanation.
“I am not the only joy,” she finally offered, turning towards me, “but I am the only pure joy.”
I looked at her quizzically, asking for more.
“There are other joys roaming around.  Some are twisted and evil, and I will not speak of those now.  Others are simply earthly.  They aren’t bad, necessarily, but they are weak.  When trials come, they scatter.  Only pure joy remains. I’ve observed the only real desire of earthly joys is to make people happy, but my purpose is to make them strong and to connect them to the Father.  This is one of the ways He uses trials for good.  He doesn’t wish them on you. He has great compassion towards you, and because of this, He will use them to scatter the things that cannot sustain you, and highlight what brings you strength.”
I nodded.
In the end, it’s all about Him.  I am who I am and do what I do to reveal the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  I am here to bring Him glory.”

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