today's post is written by the lovely amanda rowe.
you can find her here: blog. twitter. pinterest.
Hi internet friendlies. I’m Amanda and I’m here on Danielle’s blog to talk about joy.
Joy in Christ is costly. Some of you know this all too well. Some of you know it much better than I because your suffering has been much greater than mine. You read me right. Suffering. Did you know that joy is the result of suffering?
Many of us grew up believing that joy is the result of happiness. Or the fulfillment of happiness. But that’s not what God tells us about joy at all.
James 1:2-3 says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (NIV)
Another translation says, “Count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds” (ESV)
Have you ever met someone who is dying but lights up their entire world with joy? Or someone who was going through a divorce, or who had cancer who gave YOU a hug to comfort you? Don’t those people just make you scratch your head?
They have paid the price of joy. They have suffered greatly and yet counted it pure joy. You see joy doesn’t come in the good times, the easy times, and when you’re standing on your mountaintop. Happiness comes then. Happiness comes and warms your spirit. Joy is the opposite of happiness. Joy comes in the midst of pain, hurt, disappointment, frustration, and defeat. Joy enters your heart at the moment when it seems all hope is lost. It is the hope of a better, bigger, greater, grander, more lovely day than today. When joy comes it sets your spirit ablaze with unquenchable thirst.
Joy will change you because suffering changes you. Joy is not an emotion, feeling, or state of being; joy is a way of life. James 1:4 goes on to say, “And let that steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, and lacking in nothing”.
We all want to live a joy-filled life. I challenge you to embrace the hurt, stand steadfast in the midst of pain, and count it all joy. It may be hard. It will be costly. But the reward is worth the price. Ask someone who’s found it.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44 ESV)
If you’re struggling or feel like you’re barely hanging on that’s okay. Hang in there. It’s hard to cling to joy in the midst of loss. It’s hard to remember we still have joy to hold onto when we’re losing other things that are valuable, lovely, and good. But finding joy in Christ is the treasure in the field. When you find it, you’ll want to sell all you have to keep it. And that loss won’t see so big or burdensome anymore.