Why ‘Count It All Joy’ Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Grieve

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2–3).

Growing up in the church, I heard this passage oft quoted when someone was grieved or struggling. Unfortunately, it’s a common theme among believers that grief over heartache or suffering must be short-lived if we are to prove our trust in God. Many times, it’s assumed that if we don’t quickly get past our sorrow and “find joy” (aka: appear to be happy), we’re not trusting God. I believe James had much more in mind when he wrote this, and it’s easily missed when we don’t look deeper into the original context and instead throw this piece of Bible passage out as a trite “fix-all.”

Within church culture, it’s easy to adopt the mentality that when we encounter trials, it may be acceptable to shed a few tears. Then (if we are really mature), we pull up our “big girl pants” and push the feelings away under the titles of “trusting that God has a plan” and “He will work all things out for good.” Attempting to walk in obedience to this command, we make ourselves strong, push away our hurts, and ultimately deny God the glory He deserves for working His healing in our hearts.

Continue: https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/347638-why-count-it-all-joy-doesnt-mean-you-cant-grieve.html

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The Fruit of the Spirit

For Those Who are Struggling to Find Joy this Christmas

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ashleywillis/2017/12/for-those-who-are-struggling-this-christmas/2/

A Key Component Of Thankfulness: Joy

This time of year we tend to focus on thankfulness, and for good reason. November is when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Our gratitude should then spill over into the December season of giving and rejoicing as we celebrate our Savior’s birth. Sometimes though we leave out a key component of thankfulness: joy.

It is easy to be thankful without any joy. Most would say they are thankful to live in a free nation like ours but are quick to complain about our government and elected officials. Joyful thankfulness is grateful, but also content with the blessings and will of the Lord — even when we don’t get our way.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Part of doing good is doing it with joyful thankfulness. Often times we grow weary. Things at work are hard. Ministry is difficult. Our boss is unreasonable. Our children are challenging. Our candidate didn’t win. Our health isn’t good. Our schedule is crazy. Hard times abound.

The Bible talks a lot about thankfulness, it also talks a lot about why we should be thankful.

What He Did

I don’t think it is an accident our calendars have us celebrating Thanksgiving before Christmas. If you focus on what Jesus went through so we could have eternal life and you’ll find it hard to be joylessly unthankful. Jesus left the Father, came to earth as a man, died, and rose again all for us. On our worst day, none of us are facing that. Focusing on what He did for you will help you focus on the right thing, with thankfulness and joy.

The rest is at: https://ministrytech.com/worship/component-of-thankfulness/2/

Joy in Suffering – podcast

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What Was C.S. Lewis’ Definition of Joy?

https://churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/176703-what-was-c-s-lewis-definition-of-joy.html

The Greatest Joy

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

What brings you joy? From his series Joy, R.C. Sproul explains that our joy flows out of the assurance of our redemption in Christ.