James 1:2-4 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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Well in the last 5 plus years of my life I have come to know when I can hear God telling me to do something. I am certain He somehow wants me to share out loud, but since this is my only avenue I am going to share here.
Count it pure joy really??? I am thinking that at first glance this has got to be a joke or something. There is no way I can count some of the things that have happened as pure joy! Specifically there is no way I can ever count it pure joy that I am 30 and living with one of my children in Heaven. There is no way God is talking to me with these verses. Kinda like, "Hello God you have the wrong person here!" The truth is He does not have the wrong person here at all.
Ethin left this world in 2009, but when that happened he became whole and healthy and that is something to be joyful about. And if we really read the rest of these verses all that is said in them is also true. Having and losing Ethin tested every fiber of my faith! It tested every bit of my relationship God and it made me question whether or not Jesus ever really came and died for me or anyone else. I questioned my whole life and my entire belief system.
Thankfully when we question God's existence or His authority He will show you truth. Once I was shown His truth I came back into my faith very slowly and warily as I was skeptical. However I came to understand that I was angry at God when I needed to be angry with satan. As my anger shifted and eventually subsided I began to live again. Very slowly, but it happened.
Then I began to be fully alive in Him and living in this world with a truth to share. This is where the testing of my faith produced perseverance. It did not happen over night and I believe it will always be happening in a small way. However perseverance did take almost 5 years for me to be writing this message to you telling you that my faith is matured and it is not lacking.
God used so many trials that satan put in my life to bring me to Him. He loves us so much that He uses everything! He then uses us to help others too. I am not saying I am perfect or mature, (Many would argue I am not mature) but I am saying my faith is mature and unwavering and that is an area that we all should want to persevere to. My faith stands strong in a God that I know loves me and wants me. He has plans for me and needed me to mature in Him and keep my faith in Him to get to where I am going; to follow His will for my life!
Oh friends I know that there are trials that we face that it is so hard to not be angry with God, blame Him, or even just throw our hands up.....But count it Joy find the joy in the trials you are facing. I am telling you that if it is a trial God is standing there ready to walk through it with you and carry you if need be. Find the joy in all things! Even if it is years later there is joy in it all.
With a Joyful Heart,Jessica