The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Joy In Sorrow"
Part 3 - "The Joy of Conviction"
Biblical joy and happiness are related, but not directly synonymous.
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations" (James 1:2).
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series of messages, joy and sorrow often concurrently exist in the sensibilities of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: "as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10). This truth constitutes the definition of joy in different terms than we often consider. Note that James' command does not call us to "feel" it all joy when we experience challenge or difficulty. We are to "count," or "consider" our challenge in terms of joy. The matter involves our chosen perspective, as opposed to emotional sensibility. Our Heavenly Father does not call us to somehow force ourselves to feel happy when life bring's sadness to our hearts. Indeed, one cannot read the Biblical account of our Lord's sufferings in Gethsemane and come to the conclusion that He felt happy there. "Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38). Surely the Lord Jesus fulfilled the command to consider His suffering in terms of joy. "Looking unto Jesus, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2). He did not, however, feel joy in the Garden or on the cross.
In our present existence, joy must be understood far more in terms of faith and conviction than feeling. Certainly there are times when joyfulness and emotional happiness travel on parallel tracks of our experience. Often, however, we must view our challenges in terms of joy when we feel anything but exhilaration. God Himself is our joy - "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Habbakuk 3:18). Thus, for the believer, there is always something - Someone - about which to rejoice. The Lord Jesus is "a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Moreover, He is actively present, fulfilling purposes for the glory of God and our best interests that pleasant times cannot accomplish. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver thee and thou shalt glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15). These and numerous other Biblical assurances of God's presence and working in our "diverse temptations" provide Truth to be considered, and thus, joy to be known in the innermost depths of our spiritual being. Again, James calls us to the joy not primarily of feeling, but of faith and the conviction, even as the so called "weeping prophet" Jeremiah affirmed…
"Thy words were found and I did eat them, and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Thy name, o Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me."