Don’t Lose Your Joy!
“In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. Mark 4:16-17 NASB
In life stuff happens, and Satan’s number one weapon is affliction. Afflictions are the pressures of life: sickness, financial problems, persecution, trouble, various tests and trials, etc. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that we were to aspire to perfection even as His Father in heaven is perfect, and the path to perfection is patience (Matt. 5:48; Jas. 1:1-4).
When you encounter various tests and trials, don’t get upset; don’t lose your joy. Endure it with the joy of the Lord knowing that the pressures of life are being used to produce patience and patience produces perfection.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, i.e., an attribute of God’s character within us (Gal. 5:22). And, because of joy, James, the brother of our Lord, taught us to consider it all joy when various trials come to try your faith and test your character. Joy is your best character witness in a trial or spiritual battle.
The best example of enduring affliction with an attitude of joy is Jesus. He endured the agony of the cross with joy (Heb. 12:2). Then there were the apostles in the early church, after facing affliction and the shame of imprisonment, they departed from the presence of the council rejoicing (Act 5:41). Both Jesus and the apostles refused to lose their joy (John 15:11). The trying of your faith produce patience and patience produces perfection if you endure with constant joy. No matter what, don’t lose your joy!