Posts Tagged ‘john newton’

When this thief comes, rejoice!

Posted: June 23, 2014 by boydmonster in Uncategorized
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We’ve all been visited by a joy thief.  One thing is for sure, having your joy stolen isn’t any fun.  When this thief comes, he can wear many different costumes.    

When you lose something precious to you.

When a treasured friendship inexplicably ends.

When you see that person you simply cannot please.

When you did everything right and it still didn’t work out.

It’s different for each of us, but we all have a tipping point.  Having your joy stolen looks different for each of us as well.  Losing your joy may drive one person to quitting and another to manic effort.  It may push one person to explosive anger and another to disheartened submission.  Perhaps for many of us, it has been so long since we’ve really known abiding joy that anger, control, manipulation, shame and despair have become normal.  

What would it be like if we had a joy that couldn’t be taken from us.  A steadfast joy.  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”(James 1:2-3)  James is telling us here that it is precisely when our joy is being stolen from us that God is working to develop in us a steadfast joy.  

When the economy tanks and all our hope for financial soundness is lost.  When we get stuck in traffic.  When we get passed over for that promotion.  When that person betrays us.  When we just can’t seem to get the laundry done and its driving us mad.  When the person we thought we were going to marry tells us they are moving on.  When our children don’t turn out how we wanted them to.  When we lose a parent.  When we lose our temper.  When we lose our will.  God tells us “These inward trials I employ from self and sin to set the free that though may seek thy all in me.”(John Newton, I asked the Lord)  

Therefore, James tells us, when our ability to trust God and be joyful in Him is put to its limit, we are to take out our spiritual calculators and “count it all joy” because “blessed is he who remains steadfast under trial.”  Are you being tested?  In the midst of your pain, rejoice. God is preparing you for more joy than you ever thought possible.