James 1:2 tells us to consider our trials– as a joy. Why? Because the testing of our faith produces perseverance and perseverance leads to maturity.
To persevere is to be steadfast or to be firmly fixed in our faith.
Are you in a trial?
Then it’s time to make war!
You must fight for joy or you will get beaten down.
Today’s video tells of a time when I went through a difficult trial where I had to fight for joy. It was during this trial that this blog here at Women Living Well was born!
I recorded this video back in 2010, during a previous James Book Club – so please pardon the poor video quality – but the message is from James and it is relevant for today. So join me as I talk about: How to Fight For Joy
In today’s video I mentioned the book by John Piper titled: When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. This book is a deep theological read. It has touched my soul and has challenged me in times of despair and spiritual warfare.
If you are in a season of fighting for joy – slow down and read my favorite quotes from this book (they are not an easy, quick read), they will inspire you to continue fighting the good fight of faith and to persevere through the difficult trials you are facing as you mature in Christ.
The fight for joy in Christ is not a fight to soften the cushion of Western comforts. It is a fight for strength to live a life of self-sacrificing love. It is a fight to join Jesus on the Calvary road and stay there with him, no matter what. (pg. 20)
Maintaining joy in God takes “work”; that is; it’s a fight against every impulse for alien joys and every obstacle in the way to seeing and savoring Christ…when we understand that seeing Christ is what leads to enjoying Christ, and that therefore the fight for joy is mainly a fight to see…The fighting does not cause the joy. Seeing causes the joy. (pg. 44)
God ordained that spiritual seeing should happen mainly through hearing…Therefore we must hear what he says in order to see what he reveals. The Bible does not speak of hearing the glory of God, but seeing it. Hearing it is the means. Seeing is the goal. The aim of all our hearing of God’s truth is the seeing of God’s glory. (pg. 65)
When you memorize the Word of God, it’s there directly giving joy to you and it’s there indirectly serving your joy by transforming your mind. How shall we obey the command, “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2) if we neglect to saturate our minds with the thoughts of God? Ask yourself: Of all the spiritually minded people you have known – those who seem to walk most consistently with God and are in tune with God’s Spirit – do they not all overflow with Scripture? Prick them, and they bleed Bible. This is no coincidence. Memorizing Scripture is one of the surest routes to going deep with God and walking in communion with him. Which means walking in joy. (pg. 120)
It may be that part of the cause of spiritual darkness is cherished sin that we are unwilling to let go…sin destroys joy. It offers deceptive delights, but it kills in the end…Peter relates this to marriage and said that if a husband sins against his wife, his prayer will be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7). If we want the joy of seeing and savoring God in Christ, we must not make peace with our sins. We must make war. (pg. 223)
Are you struggling to feel joy in your life?
Determine today to make war.
Sin may have crept in or perhaps your focus has been taken off of the Lord. Maybe you are worried about something that you need to take to God in prayer or perhaps you are not feeling well and you are exhausted. Our bodies are connected to our spirits – when our body is worn down, our spirits are worn down.
- Get rest.
- Read God’s Word daily.
- Pray fervently.
- Repent if there is sin in your life.
- Trust and obey the Lord.
And FIGHT for joy.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Keep walking with the King,
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