May 23, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
It is sometimes funny how the Lord teaches us. After having preached a sermon this past Sunday on how we're to count it all joy amidst trials of various kinds, the Lord seems to be intent on teaching me just how to do that this week. Has that been happening to you? I don't think that the trials that I've been facing are of the severe kind, but they're trials nonetheless. As they keep popping up, I keep trying to remind myself of the application that I offered on Sunday. Since I've been reminding myself of that application, I thought that you might find some use in being reminded of it again. So, how can we practically go about pursuing joy, whether or not we're in the midst of trials?
First, ask God for joy. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to give you joy. Joy is a fruit and gift of God's Spirit. Joy is something in God's grace that he gives to us in his kindness and love. Secondly, fight sin. Sin is a joy-killer. There's no more serious threat to joy than sin and unbelief as it tells you lies about God and turns you away from him. So fight sin. Thirdly, study the character of God and particularly his goodness and love. As you study those characteristics of God, I trust that by the power of his Spirit you'll grow to trust him more and more which is crucial for joy. Fourthly, find people who are filled with joy and make them talk to you about Christ. In God's kindness, people who are filled with joy tend to tell us truth that we need to hear, truth that will awaken us to our false confidence in ourselves and encourage our joy in God. Finally, tell other people about Jesus. The good news about Jesus is the source of eternal joy and as we communicate that good news to others the Lord is often pleased to use those opportunities to encourage our joy in him.
As you and I try to pursue joy in the midst of the various kinds of trials that we encounter this week and beyond, we should pray that the Lord would be pleased to do just what he said he would - produce in us steadfastness and maturity (James 1:4).
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