Friday, November 13, 2015

Biblical Joy #1

Tip: In post-processing, use your selective lighting/shadows tool to highlight the focal point in woodland photographs. It's easy to lose the trail in all that foliage!

Maybe I am easily pleased, but all those little yellow leaves scattered through the forest on my latest hike put a smile on my face. Some people can walk around outdoors and just think "Oh, it's getting cold out. That tree wasn't that color last week. Nice." I walk outside and feel excited by every little thing I see. Every leaf is a slightly different hue, the air smells fresh, and stuff crunches when I walk. Oh, the beauty!

I've come to realize, however, that some people just do not naturally find joy in life. So, I'm going to scatter a few of these posts around this fall/winter and point out some truths to be joyful about. Originally it was just going to be a single post, but the more I've read and the more I've thought about the topic, there are a LOT of reasons for joy!

So, for today I would like to pull up James 1:2-4 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Yep, you read that right- the rocky patches on the trail of life are joys. It's hard to look at it that way when we are focusing on the here and now, but if you can shift your focus and take hardships with a good attitude, you will eventually start to notice that those are the times in your life that you rely upon God the most. The hard time will pass, and you will be stronger because of it- constantly being formed more and more to the likeness of Christ.

Follow that up with 1 Corinthians 10:13-  "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." Take joy in knowing that while you are in the trials/temptations, there IS a way out. The journey is tough, but God is nothing short of good and in control of everything- He knows how much you can take before you break, and be assured, He will not let you break. 

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