Friday, April 13, 2012

Pure Joy

When I was newly married I remember a rather intense conversation my husband and I had.  He suggested that we should perhaps pray for trials so we would grow.  I grew angry with him that he would even consider praying such a thing.  I told him he couldn't  pray that for himself because I was married to him and if God was going to send him trials that would surely involve me.   I wanted no part of it.

The ironic thing about it all is that I ended up praying a similar prayer without even realizing it.  Back when we had just three children and they were all five and under, I began praying a specific prayer.  I begged God to create in me a desire for his Word.  I was struggling with even wanting to read the Bible.  I was a poor example of a Christian let alone a minister's wife, and I knew it.  God answered that prayer, I believe, by making me desperate for Him and His strength.  We had an unplanned fourth pregnancy, and our third child had severe food issues which caused us to wonder if he was autistic.       

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  James 1:2-4

I found myself in a situation I could not control, but through that experience I learned to rely more on the one who is in control.  He created in me a thirst for His Word, the one thing that is sure in a shaky world.

Image: zirconicusso /

 Since that time there have been other trials of life which I have seen God use to shape my character and to even show me my sin.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't like these times.  I don't look forward to them.  I even resist them.  But God is teaching me to embrace them with an different attitude knowing that I'll be a better person for it.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."  I Peter 1:6-7

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."  Rom. 5:2b-5
 Rejoicing today that God is molding me and making me who he wants me to be.  He is the giver of pure joy, and I can praise Him whatever the circumstance.

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