Saturday, September 12, 2009

Joy of the Lord

We are doing an in depth study on the book of James in our Adult Bible Fellowship (Adult Sunday class in many other churches). We are currently in James 3. Wow! There's so much God's teaching me from this book. I have put them all together in docs for my personal study and whatever I shared with the class. I've been trying to share a thought or two here in my blog but time doesn't allow me to do it. Here's a thought snippet on couple verses from James 1

James 1:2-3 (NASB)

2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Count it all joy: The Greek work for “consider” may also be translated “count” or “evaluate”. The natural human response to trials is not to rejoice; therefore the believer must make a conscious commitment to face them with joy.

However, this joy is “in the Lord”. In the Lord is the sphere in which a believer’s joy exists- a sphere unrelated to the circumstances of life, but related to unassailable, unchanging relationship to the sovereign Lord. The joy doesn’t define the relationship. The relationship defines the joy. This is a call to understand suffering from the vantage point of confidence in God’s sovereignty.

Trials: This Greek word connotes trouble, or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy, and happiness in some one’s life. The verb form of this word means “to put someone or something to the test”, with the purpose of discovering that person’s nature or that thing’s quality. God brings such tests to prove and increase the strength and quality of one’s faith and to demonstrate its validity. Every trial becomes a test of faith designed to strengthen. If the believer fails the test by wrongly responding that test then becomes a temptation, or a solicitation to evil.

Trials can be considered pure joy only when there’s a knowledge that they are designed by God for a purpose.

Testing: This means “proof” or “proving”.

Endurance: Through the tests, a Christian will learn to withstand tenaciously the pressure of a trial until God removes it at His appointed time and even cherish and benefit.

Let the joy of the be your leader/guide. May the joy of the Lord distinguish your life from the past!

Courtesy: Holy Spirit :-), John MacArthur, RC Sproul and good Christian buddies.

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