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The Joy Set Before Us – Part One

presiderblogJames in his letter to the saints wanted to encourage them during times of difficulties says:

James 1:2-4: “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.

Notice God says, “Count it all joy”! Notice He does not say, count it part joy and part sorrow. There is not to be any admixture of sorrow in our hearts. Now, it is easy to “count it all joy” when everything is going great. But that is not what He says. The time to “count it all joy” is in the time of trials. Why does God say this? Because He knows that…”the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is a spiritual force that gives us strength to endure afflictions and trials. The “joy of the Lord” is the joy we experience from our relationship with Him. HE BRINGS US JOY!

My wife and three sons bring me joy! I can remember years ago when my sons were young, I would be away from home, looking at a picture of them brought joy to my heart. It brought strength to me. That is what Nehemiah was saying to the men. They were going through a tough time. There was a lot of resistance coming against them, so Nehemiah cried out, “Don’t sorrow over this persecution – get your eyes on the Lord. Because when you look at the Lord, joy will fill your heart and it will be strength to you”.

Praise will cause your focus to turn from you to the Lord. In the midst of trials, it is easy to lose sight of the ability of God because of the intense pressure of the resistance you face. David wrote most of the book of Psalms and the majority of his Psalms was written in the middle of trials. By praising God, he was able to stay strong in the midst of adverse circumstances.

In Isaiah 61:3, God says that He gives us “the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Praise will help keep our eyes on the joy set before us, rather than on the circumstances that surrounds us.

Hebrews 12: 1-4. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2) 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”.

Much Love,

Because He Is -I am