"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"
I came to a surprising realization this week. Perhaps it is obvious to some of you. Here it is: Joy is not a feeling. Joy is a mindset. What do I mean? That If we are waiting to "feel joyful" then we will be waiting a long time. Joyful isn't a way we feel. Joyful is the way we can choose to look at the world - through a lense that's always searching for the good and the beautiful.
I believe that that is what this verse from James is teaching us: to count everything as an opportunity for joy, even in the midst of difficult situations and in temptations. When we are being tempted, either to sin or to give in to fear, we can be joyful that God is testing us. I know, I know. But, if we want to be a true Christian, then shouldn't we value spiritual growth at all costs - even if we have to withstand temptation, fear and difficulty to get there?
Girls, please know that I'm not rattling this stuff off easily. I mean, I am the queen of the negative. Phrases like "all costs" give me a little shudder of fear. However, I know that I want to be a young woman of love, of courage, and of joy that spills over into every area of my life. That will take sacrifice - and with time, I'm learning, and going to learn, to embrace that.
So will you join me, as we start looking at the world with a fresh perspective - a perspective of joy? While it might not always be easy, and while it might be downright difficult at times, I trust that the Lord has something incredible to show us in the midst of our temptations and trials if we will only open our eyes to it.