"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."
Troubles are an opportunity for joy? Not just joy - great joy. How does that work? I don't know about you, but it is hard when I am facing trials to have joy. I think some of it is perspective. I have had trials through life, and when I learn to give them to God, I grow closer to Him and He grows my faith. It is when I am on the other side of the trial that I see that I am becoming more of the person that Christ wants me to be. I also see that I have something new to share with people how God is working in my life. Afterward, I can have joy because of what God has done. But trials as an opportunity for great joy?
According to blueletterbible.com, the word chara is the Greek for joy. It can mean "the cause or occasion of joy - of person's who are one's joy," (see footnote 1). I began to think about that and how God is my joy. All this year, God has been showing me focus - focus on Him. I think when we are in a time of struggling or trials, we can keep our focus on Him. When I focus on Him and all He has done for me, I am so overwhelmed by love and joy that it nearly brings me to my knees. When we can learn to change our focus on to Him in the midst of a trial, we can learn endurance (which can mean continuing on in our faith even when it is difficult). Through the refocusing and endurance, we really can have joy knowing that God has something great He is doing in us.
Some of you are in the middle of great trials right now, and I want you to know that God is with you. You are not alone. Pray for the ability to focus on God - it is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that you are able to do it. Even if you have to take it moment by moment, pray for eyes to see God working in you. We have a great God who does great things and we can have joy knowing that He is greater than everything.
Linking up with Brag on God Friday.
You can read my post on Hope at Seeds of Faith Women.
1. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for chara (Strong's 5479)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 2 Dec 2011. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?