Name Tags: You Are... (Part 56)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials...
Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross.
Rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
To love when it's easy is not godly. God says even evil men can do that.* To show joy when it's easy means little. Anyone can celebrate life's pleasures. God calls us to rejoice in suffering, which is the theme for today's Devotion. First let me say, I haven't mastered it.
My first reaction is one of complaint, although I think complaint is a demon. Or maybe it's like a contagious plague. Because I've seen it spread like a bad fire. Far too often, I held the smoking match.
But what if I up my holiness walk, and my suffering is done in silence? Surely silence is better than complaint, but Peter, James and Paul became joyful. They were thankful to suffer for Christ's sake.
Because He said their rewards would be great? Or was suffering a godly marker reminding them they were on the right path?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: How can you show joy while suffering? Like in the midst of physical pain, a desperate financial crisis, the loss of a loved one, job or home?
Joy won't be your first reaction. Neither does it start as a feeling. Like love, joy starts as a decision. You put it on over your old self (by speaking and acting faithfully). Miraculously, God does the rest. It's like a divine transformation. He transforms your heart to match your words.
In whatever losses you might face... when you show inexplicable joy, you witness your Savior superbly.
To Be Continued...
* 'If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them' (Luke 6:32).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Name Tags: You Are... series.