Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


March 4, 2010

Pure Joy

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, "joy?" For me the obvious is delight, happiness, smiles, laughter, completion, fulfillment, accomplishment. All summon in me thoughts of joy.

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. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- James 1:2-4 TNIV

I confess that I come up a bit short on "pure joy." I don't make a quick, willing or easy connection between JOY and "trials." I'm an avoider of trials. Yet I am taught here that joy is a fruit of perseverance in the face of challenges, pressure, adversity. "Let it finish its work...." "Okay, Lord. I'll follow you. That is my desire. And yes, I do desire JOY. Finish your work in me."

We are immersed in a world of entertainment, recreation and self-help to accomplish and provide joy. James tells us that there is another way and means to find joy: In Christ to persevere in daily discipleship. It's the way of joy; it's the way of truth.

Dale Patterson