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Thought for the Day by Dave Howarth (Lead Pastor Holy Cross Church)
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)
Lockdown is a trial for most of us. Our Father understands the strain of your trials, yet he still says to you, consider it pure joy when you face them. Wait…What???!!!
Let me get this straight: I’m not to grumble or fret. I’m not even to have just a stoic acceptance of the situation, a grin-and-bear-it attitude, because at least God knows what he’s doing. No: I’m to consider it pure joy. Pure joy???!!! What would be pure joy to you? A sunny walk on the Downs? A Pixar film? A visit from a great friend? A family gathering – or church family gathering – without restrictions?
It might seem ridiculous to add to that list trials – including the trials of lockdown. But just imagine that all you said and did and thought during lockdown was done from a heart of pure joy, rather than resentment. Wouldn’t that be good?
It really is possible. Notice that word ‘consider.’ We need to consider something about trials that is transformational. Take another look at why James says trials are to be pure joy for us. Then consider this: nothing in your life matter more than that you persevere with Jesus. So take a moment to view your current trials through these lenses. Then do the same when those trials continue. And do the same when new trials arrive. The result really will be pure joy for you. Won’t that be good?
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