Key Text: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
While I was studying at Mountain View College, I happened to study music under Dr. Graham Heppel. As I am having a hard time learning how to play the saxophone, I ask Dr. Heppel, I said, “What is the most difficult musical instrument to play?” He looked at me, smile and said, “No.” I did not understand what he meant so I said, then what is the easiest musical instrument to play? He replied, “Yes,” then he further said, there is no difficulty when you are happy learning them. But there is great difficulty when you’re not happy about it.
James 1:2 emphasizes on the importance of the joy – the pure kind of joy. And he is addressing it to his brothers and sisters in which in Greek word means (adelphoi) and it refers to the believers, both men, and women as part of God’s family. Since we are here as believers this message is addressed to us at the same time. Because when we are working for the Lord there are always trials. There is always discouragement.
Paul makes it very simple when he says ” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3). But in reality, it takes more than just trying to be happy amidst the trials it is not a feeling but an understanding. The bible talks about joy. John 17:13 “…that they might have joy fulfilled in themselves.” 1 John 1:4 “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” Phil. 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
I. Joy in Sorrows.
It is easy to be happy when there is a reason to be happy. You have a job. You have a happy family. You have wealth and fame. It is easy to be happy when you have reasons to be happy. But what if you don’t. John 16:20 “Your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” An amazing promise that God will give us joy amidst tribulation. Paul emphasized that we can be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing because we know that there is joy after sadness, sunshine after the rain. Sorrow is always a partner in the ministry, Satan wants God’s people to be discouraged. A discouraged disciple is not effective at all. That is why Jesus has the antidote and that is to have that full joy from the Lord.
II. Joy in Salvation
While we know that there is sorrow, there is also joy in witnessing people obtain salvation. A friend of mine decided to participate in the ministry, it is his first time to preach at an evangelistic meeting. He started scared, yet he continued. He experienced anxiety and stressed but at the end of the public meeting he saw 15 people prepared for baptism, he felt great joy in his heart. There is always joy when you see people accept Christ and you became an instrument in sharing the message to them.
The story when Stephen was stoned to death brings sorrow to the believer but the believer did not stay sorrowful, Acts 8:5 Philip went to Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. There was conviction verse 7 mention about unclean spirit coming out of many that were possessed, and healing was brought to the sick people. Verse 8 emphasized that there was great joy in that city.
What a wonderful experience.
III. Joy in Service
Reminiscing the experiences of getting through the troublesome situation, the experience of witnessing people come to Christ brings inspiration to be happy in the service of the King. Jesus wanted us to be happy working for him.
David understands his purpose and that is why he said in Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
What an amazing devotion. Friends, you are called for a purpose and the only way to continue working for the Lord is to be happy because we are working for the King, we are working as His ambassadors and above all, we are working as children of God.