Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Knowing God - James 1:2

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Consider it pure joy ...
James 1:2
 
When I googled yesterday's quote from C. S. Lewis, right below it was another favorite quote:
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
Therefore, I went backward. I started with the message and tried to discover a verse that applied.
 
First, I need to ask, of course, if comfort, pleasure, and self-satisfaction have ever been your goal. Absolutely! We all are guilty of this! In life, we have to be taught to share, but no one needs to teach us to look out for number one.
 
In my experience, the lazy boy lifestyle feels good ... for a few days. But eventually purposeless boredom sinks in. I was made for more than the couch. And, ultimately, I don't want comfort, I want joy! And James has a strange recipe for purpose and peace, saying ...
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
That's the kind of truth that C. S. Lewis is inviting us to seek -- Trials can lead to joy! If you doubt that, look at the times you've grown the most in your faith and life. Has it been when you were parked in the lazy boy ... or when adversity dropped you to your knees, demanded your faith, and refined your life. 
 
James is not saying that trials are fun. Rather he invites us to look for the red thread of truth and purpose and conviction and joy in the midst of it.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wonders whether 
he needs to change brands of soap ...
is body wash considered soft soap
and does it lead to despair?
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I have often said that I have no desire to be happy - but I do want to feel JOY.  I have had that recently.  Joy. Peace. But also I have had trials. despair. I was told recently that I have found patience through perseverance ... I believe that - a little.  Do I consider my trials pure joy? No. Am I mature? No. Am I complete? No. I hope I never am until I stand before His amazing throne!

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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