Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hard Words, but joy

I listened as she told me how it’d just been one thing after another. Not minor stuff, but heart searing, mind bending hardship.

All the while, I’m thinking about those words in James, the ones I’ve been going back to repeatedly.

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(James 1:2, 3).
Maybe you’ve got this all worked out, but these seem like some of the most difficult words in the Book to me― that when we are right in the cooking pot, we rejoice. All of us pray for deliverance in such circumstances, but how often do we stop to “consider it pure joy”?

I’m trying to be intentional about it right now, because that’s the only way it’s going to happen. We’re never going to feel like giving thanks when we’re dealing with overwhelming difficulty. And to that end, one thing I’m doing is begin my day in praise by singing this hymn. I’ve always liked it, but never considered it one of my favorites . . . until now. I’ve found that as I meditate on these words, they become a reality.

I’ve found particular power in these phrases, “Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!”

I told my friend about what I’ve been doing. It seems counter intuitive, almost wrong, to sing out just when your heart might be breaking. But I remember something I read recently that when you need hope, you give hope. When you need encouragement, you give encouragement. When you need joy, you give joy. And in singing, we give joy to our Creator, the giver of “immortal gladness.”

So, hard words today, but joy tomorrow.

Take a moment .

And sing.

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